Mobberley Rose Queen: 85 years and stronger than ever
The Festival starts with the main road through Mobberley closed for an hour whilst a large procession of bands, floats and the Rose Queen’s retinue walk through the village. This year’s Rose Queen was Sarah Foord.
The Festival was first started on a small scale by local schoolgirl Lily Green, back in 1922. Mary Richards was the first Queen in 1924 when it became a officially recognized event .
It grew in popularity year by year, with a temporary halt to proceedings during the second World War. Today, it continues to be the major occasion in the village, offering opportunities for young and old alike to take part in dancing, fancy dress, the ever-popular Village Wedding and most importantly the Rose Queen’s retinue.
One of the unique aspects of the Festival is the formation of Morris dance troupes involving the children from the village. Mobberley is believed to be one of the few Festivals in the country which still encourage the children of the village to provide the dancing display during the Festival, rather than experienced Morris troupes.
Some of the traditional dances performed by the children of Mobberley at the Festival can be traced back several hundred years and include dances originated in Mobberley. The children practice weekly for several months before the event.
This year’s Rose Queen Festival had a real touch of history – Lily Green’s daughter, grand-daughter and two great grand-daughters were all at the Festival. Despite this year’s overcast weather, the turn-out was excellent, with over 1,000 people in attendance during the afternoon.
For the last three years, the Festival has been held on Hall Bank Field, located next to the Scout Hut. The Mobberley Scouts, Cubs and Brownies have volunteered to help each year with tents, marquees and with making teas and food for the afternoon. Their help has become hugely important in assisting with the smooth running of the event.
A small and dedicated Festival Committee of approximately 20 people together with helpers from the Village work on an entirely voluntary basis to organize and maintain this annual tradition of the Mobberley Rose Queen Festival.
The Festival receives great support from local businesses including the Co-operative supermarket, La Fuchsia flower shop, ADT Hairdressers, Goostrey bakery, the Ark vets, Redwood tool hire, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Knutsford, the Co-operative Pharmacy, the Bulls Head, the Roebuck and the other Mobberley pubs that support the Rose Queen. Many other local businesses support the Festival through advertising in the Rose Queen Program
Despite continued great enthusiasm within the Committee, we are aware that we need fresh ideas, new muscles (!) and a means to “pass the baton” to a younger generation to ensure the Festival’s continued success. Please contact Tony Cooke on 01565-872 848 for further information.
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©2009 Jonathan Farber Photography – www.farber.co.uk