Extract from “Snippets from the life of a Spladonian”

In this extract Mr Hanson talks about Tulip Time. The Tulip Time committee who were responsible for decorating the town, and choosing a route for tourist to take. This was necessary to keep all the cars visiting the district and all wanting to see the spectacle, travelling in the same direction as the route took them along narrow lanes with dykes along side the road. The growers had stalls by the fields, selling cut tulips and visitors would walk along the end of the of the beds of tulips having their photographs taken. The ideas was to prevent any traffic jam, and yes, we had jams in those days and not just the fruit variety.

In addition, the Miss Tulipland competition needed to be organised, and of course done in conjunction

Choosing the Tulip Queen at the old Corn Exchange 1958

Choosing the Tulip Queen at the old Corn Exchange 1958 click on the picture to enlarge where you there?

with the local press. The selection was done at the Tulip Ball held in the Corn Exchange with up to thirty girls competing.

Mr van Geest offered a small lorry for us to decorate and arranged for Mr Van Driel, who was the designer of the dutch parade , to come over and help decorate the lorry and two cars – one was Mr Hanson car and the other Councillor Dryden’s

Hansontulipland1958

The first Tulip Float with Janet Bray, The Tulip Queen, Pat Newbat and Jean Davis

1958 Tulip weekend the procession went from the Market Place along one side of the river to Little London Bridge and back along the other side. This was the first attempt at a parade.

Hansonflowerparade

Stan Russell as Steptoe & Son adding a little light relief the flower parade

Following from this success the NFU took on the task of organising a bigger parade. 1959 there were six floats and some bands in the parade and the whole idea blossomed.