A spectacular celebration of Crewe’s heritage brought thousands of people flocking to Queens Park on Saturday.
A full report and pictures at the main Queens Park Website
The beautiful Victorian park, which has undergone a £6.5m restoration, was alive with activity, live music, troupe dancers, falconry displays and a travelling theatre show.
It was all topped off with a magnificent pyrotechnic show including a firework display by the newly-restored lake, flame shapes, gas jets and special effects.
The day started with a colourful procession from Pyms Lane to the park, which involved children from 11 Crewe schools in fancy dress and was led by the Crewe Sea Cadets Corps Band.
Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member with responsibility for performance and capacity, said: “What a fantastic celebration of Crewe’s heritage. The town’s ‘jewel in the crown’ was given a fitting celebration event and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of those involved in making it such a success.”
Crewe Railroaders were on hand to display their American football skills, as were Laurel and Hardy impersonators Haurel and Lardy and children could enjoy the funfair and revamped playground.
Shavington singer-songwriter Louise Green, 14, wowed the crowds with her performances and she was crowned the winner of the Starquest 2011 talent show finale.
Meanwhile, Crewe acts such as Tom Seals and The Retrospective kept the party going with impressive performances in the restored bandstand.
Cheshire East Mayor Councillor Roger West, who officially re-opened the park, said: “We are extremely fortunate to have such a fine park in Crewe and it is one of the best in the North West.
“I was delighted to see so many people turn out and support Cheshire East in marking the hard work which has gone into making Queens Park fit for the modern day, while retaining its Victorian roots.”
Councillor Roy Cartlidge, Cheshire East ward member for Crewe St Barnabas and Mayor of Crewe, added: “This was a fantastic show of the meaning of ‘community’ and we had much positive feedback from the visitors.
“The procession route was packed out with onlookers, who said it was great to see a traditional parade, something which would be great to repeat in future. I have also received feedback from visitors who described the firework display as the best they had seen anywhere.
“It was pleasing to see people out and about in period dress and I personally had a lot of fun dressing up. It was a fitting way to celebrate such a big restoration.”
Various groups were given recognition for their part in the procession, including Tim Prevett’s Ghost Walks, which won first place overall.
Beechwood and Pebble Brook primary schools were joint-first in the school section while the Crewe Sea Cadets Corps Band won first prize in the ‘community’ category.
Crewe’s Liberty Morris was first in the ‘troupe’ section and best vehicle on display went to Cheshire Fire Service.