As the town woke to dark grey skies and a heavy misty rain, the weather forecasters seemed to have been right that it would be a bad day for all of us.
As we assembled outside the Guildhall before 7 o'clock, the general opinion seemed to be 'this isn't great, but it could be a lot worse', and that sentiment seemed to be the case throughout the day regarding the weather.
Ben Martin struck the first beat of the bass drum on the chime of 7am to dry(ish) weather, and so began Flora Day 2014. The dancers and band, led by Russell Harvey and Alan Trewella, managed to get around the route without getting drenched - that was until the last note of the dance when the heavens opened and we got a soaking on the way to the Blue Anchor for the customary Flora Day pint of Spingo.
The Senior band then enjoyed a cooked breakfast at the Godolpin Club where Band Master Kevin Johns was presented with a token of appreciation for all the hard work he has put in with the band over what has, at times, been a difficult twelve months. Kevin paid thanks to band member Ben Curnow for everything he does, to the band in general for the dedication they have shown and that the future for the band is looking very bright.
The Senior band then met up with members of our Concert and Beginners bands, as well as invited guests who would be playing for the Children's and Midday dances and led by Lester Ashton.
Again the weather for these dances remained damp, but certainly not the heavy rain that was forecast. Due to Health and Safety concerns, the Children's Dance did not stop for a break at Lismore Gardens which meant the dance finished earlier than normal, giving the band a nice long break before the start of the Midday dance.
The crowds around the town were slightly smaller than usual, the forecast obviously putting some people off from attending, but the atmosphere in town was still fantastic, with people applauding the band and dancers' efforts all along the route.
After enjoying a couple of hours break, the Senior Band met up for the final time to lead the Evening Dance. Our Concert Band M.D. Ian Edwards led the band for this dance and as we made our way around the town for the final time this year the crowd was in its usual good spirits.
The dancers, as is tradition, provided the band with a guard of honour through Tanyard Lane. This gesture, known within the band as 'the tunnel' is always greatly appreciated and much anticipated.
As we made our way up Coinagehall Street for the last time, the weather was as good as it had been all day.
The dancers made their way into the Guildhall, and the band finished to massive cheers from the supportive crowds. After the huge ovations, what else could we do but strike up one more time (with the sun even shining through at this moment) to close out another memorable Flora Day.
We would like to thank all our invited guests who helped us for the middle two dances, as well as congratulate our Concert and Beginners band for the effort and hard work they put in. Special mention must also be made to our supporters who collected for the band, many of them walking the same distance (16 miles!) as the Senior Band. Finally we would like to thank our town for the support shown to us, it means such a lot to have a town so proud of their band.
Quote of the day - 'B.C. normally stands for 'Before Christ' but in Helston Band it stands for Ben Curnow' - Kevin Johns whilst paying tribute to Ben.