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Life Chez Dee Episode #15: Club Day '19

Never having taken part in the Club Day parade, and never having thought about entering the charity, I was persuaded to take part by Dickon. Dickon, for those who don't know, is a friend, and massive helper and supporter of all things #forEdward ... and indeed Club Day. I chatted with Dickon a few times, he was really keen that we should be in the parade… go on he said … it’ll be fun he said … it will be good for the charity he said … you’ll love it he said … we can go overboard and bling things up just as Edward would love it he said. And so we did, and it was brilliant; it was everything he said it would be, and more.

It was an early start as we need to be down in Lytham just after 8.30am so that we were ready for the judges at 9am.

The flags had already been made Blue Peter style – material, scissors, bamboo canes and a hot melt glue gun! People had collected their various bits and bobs throughout the week ready to do their blinging, and putting their own ideas and style on their bikes.

Last minute panic to find a hi-viz jacket, but then all ready, we cycled down to Lytham – it was a bit chilly, so much so that I decided to put another layer on … and even pack a hoodie in my bag just in case. Really enjoyed the cycle down and got some great looks, smiles and applause en route, and a few waves from passing cars.

We arrived at our allocated Club Day pitch, and after putting the final touches to our cycles we were ready for the judges. Kirstin was there with Alex on the back of her bike, who you could just about see under all the blue and orange pomp poms covering both her, and the bike. Lewis had his music player fixed to the back; whilst Samuel kept trying out the siren noises on his bike – which the police were most impressed with. Kacey had blinged up her scooter, and even had fairy lights, whilst Justin’s bike was kitted out with the bubble machine. The rest of us just went a bit over the top with balloons, flags, signs, wheel decorations etc etc. We waited for the judges, we posed for pictures for the photographer and we waited for the verdict … first place (in our category)!

There was a long wait around and the children were itching to get going. Fylde Community Police came by and stopped to admire our effort. They were brilliant with the children, congratulating them on their efforts, talking about how impressed they were that they were all wearing helmets, listening to Samuel sounding his sirens, posing for photos with us; and generally good all round community police relations.

A bit late … but the parade eventually began. We had the Learning Curve Nursery float in front of us – so pleased it was them, as they are so supportive of our charity, I couldn’t think of nicer people to be following. Thought it was great that some of the children were hanging on to the back of the float and were being pulled along on their scooters. We were followed by a samba band; which gave us something to tap along to whilst we were stopped in the parade. The parade was slow, and gosh it’s really difficult to ride a bike when you’re going that slowly …. well it was for me, especially as I had a basket full of leaflets too, which meant that I had to hold on to the handle bars even when we were stopped otherwise the inertia from the weight of these caused the front of the bike to flip round!.

The kids seemed to really enjoy it; the adults seemed to too, I certainly did. It was a great atmosphere and I thought that given the distance covered in the parade, the time they’d been there and the heat of the day, they did brilliantly. I had to keep asking them to keep back from the float in front, you couldn’t see us if we were hiding behind the back of a lorry. I don’t know, maybe they thought they’d get up a bit more speed being in the slipstream of the float!

I think I was as wobbly as Kirstin, but she had the excuse of Alex on the back; I even managed to clip William, and crash into Samuel (well he was looping round and crossing my path when I wasn’t looking). The only other drama of note was that Justin’s bike chain went again (the replacement chain after the big crash he had a few weeks ago) and so he ended up walking and pushing the bike for the final leg of the parade.

The crowds were lovely and there were so many, probably more than usual as it had ended up being such a glorious day. In fact it ended up being so hot, I was sweltering. It was great to see lots of friends and familiar faces in the crowd waving and cheering, and great to have the support from others I didn’t know; there was even chance for a few photo opportunities along the way. We handed out thousands of leaflets, and really hope that people will take the time to read about the charity and support the work we do, if they don’t already know and support.

It was such a great atmosphere, and I’m really glad “Edward” was a part of it … and that he made the sun shine … but of course he knew it needed to shine that day!

We made our way to Lytham Hall, and were stopped in the drive by a really lovely young lad, who turned out to be a year 10 student from AKS. He kindly offered to help Justin fix the chain on his bike, but after much fiddling, they were defeated. When J had replaced this chain, on threading it, he’d made a mistake and popped a link, and thinking it would be okay, as is usual with most bike chains, this particular one requires you to purchase special pins. I was really impressed though that this young chap took the time to ask if we were ok, and was he able to help. Not sure that too many others of that age would have done the same, so thank you very much Josh.

We locked up our bikes and wandered to where it was all happening. The Rose Queen parade; the speeches and such. And then the presentations of trophies …. And oh yes, because we’d won a first in our category, we were presented with a trophy. Dickon was on the PA system, and gave a lovely announcement that the charity had won, and I swear the cheers seemed to get louder, and the clap-ometer must have gone off the scale. I walked up to receive the most enormous trophy from the Mayor … and my instructions for handing it back; and I was so impressed that the engraving had already been done in that short space of time …. Apparently they have someone waiting in the wings to find out the winners and engrave the trophies in those few hours between judging and presentation; very impressive.

We sat in the blistering heat with Rose and Kim aka Akela and Raksha from 8th Lytham Cubs. Wanting to watch all what was happening, but sadly our view was like looking through net curtains as we were blocked by the lacy umbrellas which were put up to shade those in front from the heat; which I thought a bit selfish to be honest, especially as I found out they’d been asked to put the umbrellas down which were blocking the view for others, and especially as I saw them later without their umbrellas, yet still in the heat!.

Justin went off with a very hungry William (who’d been asking for food for the last hour). I couldn’t decide what to eat as I didn’t fancy pizza or burgers, but Akela came to the rescue as always. Akela (who is always prepared with enormous amounts of food, snacks and drinks) offered me a chicken sandwich, which was very delicious. She also offered me crisps and a can of cider from her never ending stash of goodies, but fancying a brew and an ice cream from “Mandy’s Van” we got those and sat and enjoyed a bit more of the proceedings.

Feeling far too hot, we went off for a wander, but we just wanted some shade to be honest, so decided to take refuge in the lovely Lytham Hall Café. I thought it would be heaving, but no. I swear if they’d had a big comfy chair you wouldn’t have seen me for the rest of the day. I was so tired – tired from the parade – tired from the heat. I was ready to go home really, but wanted to wait to see Lancashire Youth Jazz Band which had been booked. William will likely join this band later this year; he could have moved to this band already if he’d managed to get to some of their rehearsals, but since he was on GCSEs we thought it was a bit much to take on a new band, we decided to leave it til the exams were out of the way. They were great, maybe a bit daring in their choice of music, but great. Hope they get booked for next year, as would be really special for William to play at Club Day.

After catching up and chatting with so many friends and familiar faces, we set off for home, very slowly again as J had to walk all the way home.

I was so tired … slept like a log, even more so than usual, if that’s even possible … and didn’t surface til 10 the next morning. Still really tired … and saddle sore … I spent the next morning in PJs drinking copious amounts of milky tea.

We went to see Edward, and found that the pesky ducks had been and pecked all the heads off the flowers. Yesterday naughty ducks had caused mess and havoc in the Club Day Marquee; today Edward’s flowers have been decapitated. They’d be in trouble, but I know Edward would find it quite funny.

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