Woodland theme lifts spirits at Torrington May Fair

THE enchantment of the forest thrilled townsfolk at Torrington s annual May Fair celebrations on Thursday. May Queen Primrose Hill, 11, and her entourage led a colourful woodland-themed procession into the Square, lifting the spirits on an uncharacteristi

THE enchantment of the forest thrilled townsfolk at Torrington's annual May Fair celebrations on Thursday.

May Queen Primrose Hill, 11, and her entourage led a colourful woodland-themed procession into the Square, lifting the spirits on an uncharacteristically damp springtime ritual.

Primrose, beautifully dressed as the "queen of the woods", was accompanied by crowner Beth Challice, 11; "wood keeper" heralds Archie Smithson, 11, and Lewis Bolt, 10; and "wood nymph" attendants Niamh Saltearn, Eliose Johnston-Jones, Natalie Craker, Eve Pelton-Bridger, Drew Dennis, Zuzanna Jankowska, Emily Tyrrell and Macey Goodman, all aged between seven and eight.

The May Fair theme is always chosen by the mayoress or mayor's consort and is a closely-guarded secret until the royal entourage makes its way along the crowd-lined street.


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This year - in a break with tradition - it was chosen with the help of family friend Angie Harper and local dressmaker Sue Buckingham, who stepped in to help this year's consort, Mayor Cllr Sue Mills' 13-year-old daughter Keeley.

Mrs Buckingham, a former attendant herself, said she was delighted to be able to design and make the dresses, something she has longed to do for many years.

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"It's taken a year to organise, perfect and plan this project and I've enjoyed every last minute of it," she said.

"It has always been my dream to do this for my hometown of Torrington and I hope this year's May Fair will stay in the children's memories as it has for me."

Prior to the crowning, crowds were kept entertained by English country dancing by pupils from Burwood School, floral dancing around the Square; and a Saturday Night Fever-style cabaret show by the Torrington Cavalier Entertainers.

During a break for lunch, acoustic duet Jax performed in the Square before the turn of seven-to-16-year-old dancers from the Streetz Dance Crew, followed by more fun from the Cavaliers.

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