Festival review: Croydon Minster Flower Festival, Saturday 17th June

By - Thursday 29th June, 2017

A font-full of hot pinks and oranges – and more besides

Floral display with miniature Saffron Tower and Clocktower.
Photo author’s own

Croydon is named after a flower, crocus sativus, the vivid purple bloom from which the spice saffron is harvested. The meaning of ‘Croh-Denu’, the town’s Saxon name, is ‘valley of the crocus’, and the flowers were grown here by the Romans thousands of years ago. So where better to hold a flower festival? On Saturday 17th June, Croydon Minster did just that in what is hoped will be the first in a series of annual events.

Photo author’s own.

The cool of the building meant that, as its visitors wilted in the heatwave, the floral displays remained fresh for the attentions of judge Christina Payne, an area demonstrator from the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies. Contributions came from local schools, Surrey Street Market and individuals with an interest in the art of flower arranging, and ranged in hue from the palest pinks and blues set against the minster’s cool stone, to a font-full of hot pinks and oranges.

Some went beyond being creative only with flowers and nodded to local architecture, with a mini Saffron Tower, a mini NLA Tower and a mini clocktower nestling among the stems, and another incorporated a fish tank and stones on the ground to represent flowers within the entirety of creation.

Photo author’s own.

Outside, on Minster Green, there were stalls and games for younger children, and another highlight of the festival weekend was the chance to climb the minster’s bell tower as part of a guided group, a fascinating experience that included a go at pulling on the bell ropes and a close-up of the minster’s imposing peal of bells.

The Mayor of Croydon, Toni Letts, paid a visit to admire the handiwork on display. Most importantly of all, the winners were:

In the adult category: Anne Christmas and Carol Winterbourne.

In the schools and juniors categories: the pupils and staff of Croydon Minster School with the Kingfishers – the minster’s Sunday school group for four to ten year olds – just behind them for second place.

In the words of the organisers, Pamela Hall and Rebecca Paulraj: “We had a lot of people come into the minster for the festival who had not been in before. It was lovely to receive visitors from the surrounding areas and people just passing through the area or through Croydon. It’s good for us to touch base with our neighbours and we will be doing this more often in the coming months”.

Liz Sheppard-Jones

Liz Sheppard-Jones

Writer and editor. Views personal, not representative of editorial policy.

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