Thriplow's daffodil delights
PUBLISHED: 14:50 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:57 21 February 2013
As spring awakens, a whole village works together to make sure a host of golden daffodils greet visitors for a special event. Philippa Pearson visits Thriplow amid preparations for their Daffodil Weekend later this month
Daffodils are one of the most eagerly awaited bulbs to emerge from the winter. Their glorious fragrant yellow trumpets herald a fanfare for spring and the pretty village of Thriplow near Royston celebrates their arrival in style with a special Daffodil Weekend. Originally created as a fundraising event for repairs to St George's church, the first weekend in 1969 saw over 1,500 visitors admiring the daffodils drifting throughout the village. Now an annual event, Thriplow Daffodil Weekend also has several gardens open in the village displaying other spring flowers as well as other attractions including heavy horses, craft barns, stalls, organ music at the church and a flower festival, folk music, children's entertainment and lots of refreshments. The charming old Smithy on the village green has working demonstrations and vintage steam traction engines complete this quintessential English event.
The success of the weekend is down to the hard work of the villagers, particularly the event's committee and Thriplow Gardening Society. Thousands and thousands of daffodil bulbs have been planted over the years so that every verge and patch of green is glowing with yellow in spring. Each November, the Daffodil Weekend Committee and their families plant more bulbs and with expert help from the Gardening Society, the daffodil display starts in early March continuing through to late April by using different varieties. The extended flowering season aims to ensure there is always a good display when the Daffodil Weekend comes, which, depending on the date of Easter, is any time from the end of March to mid April. The weather sometimes takes the upper hand, though. Some events have seen sleet, snow, high winds and heavy rain but the daffodils in Thriplow dazzle to delight visitors. From its early beginnings, the event now attracts around 10,000 people over two days and people come from all over the country to see the sumptuous display.
Planning for each year's event
takes over a year and as well as the various committees, all the villagers, young and old, work together to make sure everyone is welcome. Thriplow Daffodil Weekend committee member Lynne Turner comments, 'This is the village's main fundraising project of the year and it's very much a community event. The whole village gets involved by baking cakes, helping out beforehand and on the day.' The main roads into the village are closed, with meadows used as car parks, and shire horses and trailers take visitors around the village on a daffodil tour. The charm of a traditional village is enjoyed on traffic free lanes but the real stars of the weekend are the daffodils. Take your camera and note book with you
and enjoy the display. As William Wordsworth said in his iconic poem 'Daffodils':
I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Thriplow Daffodil Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, 28th & 29th March 11am to 5pm
Adults 5.50, Children 2.50,
under fives free.
Entrance includes car parking and admission to all attractions. Dogs on leads permitted. Coaches and mini-buses must be booked in advance; groups of 20 or more can also book in advance.
Thriplow is situated eight miles east of Royston, just off the A505.