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Culdrose Flora Day dancers keep tradition alive

12 May 2016
The ancient streets of Helston have once again been bursting with anticipation and excitement as dancers from the town took part in this year’s traditional Flora Day celebrations.

Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose had nine couples lucky enough to participate in the ‘Midday Dance’ as guests of the Mayor of Helston and the Town Council, including Captain Adrian Orchard OBE, who said on the day: “Flora Day is a part of everybody’s DNA in Helston. 

“The preparation starts weeks before, but to be a part of the day itself is something quite special. 

“All the Culdrose dancers have put in an awful lot of rehearsal time just to make sure we get it right!” 

There are lots of people who have come to Helston because of the Navy and have decided to stay here, and there are lots of local people in Helston who work at the base.

Commander Ian Fitter RN

Flora Day is a unique, centuries-old tradition that has seen generations of Helstonians take part in the Furry Dance, through the busy streets lined with cheering crowds. 

There are four dances throughout the day, but it is the Midday Dance that is keenly anticipated, and historically was the dance of the gentry in Helston. 

To honour this long standing tradition, the men still wear top hats and tails, and the ladies dance in their finest gowns and gloves. 

RNAS Culdrose have had an invitation to take part in the Midday dance since the station opened, and the participation of Royal Navy personnel really cements the link with the local community. 

Commander Ian Fitter spoke about the strong affiliation between the base and the town on the day: “There is a hugely close bond between Helston and Culdrose and there always has been. 

“There are lots of people who have come to Helston because of the Navy and have decided to stay here, and there are lots of local people in Helston who work at the base.  

“I am a serviceman, so I am here representing my station, but I also consider myself a Helstonian, so in that sense I straddle both sides of the fence. 

“For me personally it is awesome to take part in today’s event, and a tremendous honour to be asked to dance again”.

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