GOOSREY Rose Day organisers are determined to celebrate Rose Day 2021 after this year’s event was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Although no-one knows what Covid-19 restrictions may be in place in June next year, committee members are busy planning and making bookings with the proviso things may have to change.

This year’s main event was cancelled at the last minute, but a mini procession was organised, at which Margaret Kettle made a surprise appearance.

Margaret, 97, who takes part in the Rose Day procession every year, was driven through the village on a special float behind a traction engine that led vehicles including a steam roller, vintage tractors and a campervan carrying the Rose Bud Queen Rose Worsley and her three attendants Lucia Gregory, Chloe Wilford and Jasmine Ashmore.

The organising committee encouraged people to hang up flags and bunting in the usual way and holding an afternoon tea party in their garden while listening to a special programme on Dane Sound Radio.

Rose Queen elect 12-year-old Cate Clayton and a team of volunteer bakers delivered cakes to 80 households where people had been isolating during lockdown.

Chairman of Rose Day Chris Burgess said: “We are determined to celebrate Rose Day on Saturday, June 26 next year, and so are making all the necessary arrangements, although we realise we may have to change things nearer the time.

“This year’s Rose Day at Home proved a big success, so we know we will be able to mark the occasion in some way, but hope it will be a near normal event with a procession, crowning ceremony, competitions and maypole dancing.

“Rose Day is a very special time for our village, and I would like to thank everyone for their continued support, especially our patrons many of who still sponsored us this year despite us having to cancel the main event.”

Following this year’s Rose Day annual meeting, which was held via Zoom, the committee agreed to work towards Rose Day 2021 going ahead as normal.

This is not the first time the village has chosen a Rose Queen but had to cancel the annual event.

In 1940 Marian Jervis was selected to be the Queen, but because of the Second World War that summer’s event was cancelled, and Rose Day would not be staged again until after hostilities ended.

Marian, whose mother Lydia Smallwood ran one of the village shops, was 13 when she was chosen to become queen and a young woman by the end of the war.

Marian was never crowned. That is until the Centenary Rose Festival in 2005. The village celebrated its 100th anniversary with a spectacular programme which included a gathering of 36 former Rose Queens with a service in St Luke’s Church, and lunch in a marquee on the field on the Sunday.

The highlight was a spectacular parachute drop by the Red Devils who landed in the arena after jumping from a plane flying over Goostrey.

The Rose day committee kept Marian in the dark, and it was only when she joined the parade of former queens, that she was let into the secret and told she was going to be crowned along with that year’s Rose Queen, Kelly Woodcock.

Marian, who was 78 at the time, said: "I have always considered myself as the queen who nearly was. I was shocked when they announced I was to be crowned after all these years.

“I still have the material for the queen's train, but never imagined it would ever happen."

Jill Brown, Rose Day committee Chairman in 2005, said: "When we invited the former queens and learned Marian had never been crowned, we thought it would be nice to do something about it."

The plan is that Cate, unlike Marian, will not have to wait 65 years to be crowned and will be the star of the show at next year’s Rose Day.