Summer is now well and truly over and done with, but what could be better than an atmospheric Cornish Autumn holiday in the seaside village of #Porthleven, south west #Cornwall....
Helston Flora Day 2018 was a brilliant, colourful affair. I’d like to say the day started off bright and sunny, but it dawned grey and dull. Never mind, the day kicked off with the 7 o’clock dance through the town. There are stalls lining the streets – although sadly not as many as there used to be.
Hal an Tow
Then came my favourite part of Helston Flora Day – the Hal an Tow – a noisy, mad pageant enacted around the town of Helston, commencing at 8.30 at St John’s Bridge. This riotous rite starts off very noisily, with whistles blowing and people shouting to banish the dark spirits and welcome in the May.
The Spaniards (who frequently invaded Cornwall in the past) are driven out, St Piran (the part is played by our ex-MP, the wonderful Andrew George) is washed across the Irish Sea on a millstone. There is singing throughout and the final battles are between St George and the dragon and St Michael and Lucifer. It’s all great fun and very entertaining.
I missed the children’s dance this year, but was ready in Meneage Street to catch the celebrated Midday Dance. I have heard the brass band play the Furry Dance so many times now, but I still love hearing it. The ladies looked stunning in their specially-made dresses and the men were very smart in top hat and tails. Helston Flora Day is always a brilliant day out! We had holiday guests staying in our self catering apartment at The Gables and I think they thoroughly enjoyed themselves on Helston’s special day.