Hosepipe ban limits Battle of Flowers competitors to bracken and Japanese knotweed
Biggest event in local calendar the latest casualty of freak dry spell
As temperatures across the northern hemisphere continue to soar, and hospitals in both the UK and abroad reach breaking point with heat-related admissions; there has been fresh heartache in Jersey - as it was announced yesterday that the recently imposed hosepipe ban would now limit competitors at this year’s Battle of Flowers event to bracken and Japanese knotweed on their procession floats.
Entrants are said to be devastated by the imposition, with Connétables across the island reporting sharp spikes in public drunkenness and anti-social behaviour in-and-around all but a few of parish Battle headquarters’.
An eleventh-hour appeal by Grouville was this morning denied by the Lieutenant Governor, Air Chief Marshal, Sir Stephen Dalton. ‘Whilst having no immediate issue with the collection of gorse flowers or dandelions to ‘‘add a little to colour’’ to partaking vehicles, I am afraid any legal ‘green-light’ to the collection by the public of plants and flowers from our countryside, may very well lead to the desolation of our most cherished sites – particularly, given the sheer magnitude and depth of Battle interests’
Others have been quick however to highlight the potential benefits. ‘It’s great’ said Home Affairs spokesman Al Gallbloom ‘This new criteria is, already, allowing us to make meaningful strides in our attempts to eradicate two of our most invasive species…. Whilst!’ he added buoyantly ‘simultaneously providing entertainment for the public! This water shortage has forced us into completely re-examining the way we operate. Meaningful governance is about adapting to circumstance. Meaningful governance is about having strength in adversity. Meaningful governance is about making lemonade when you are given lemons. We will roll with punches. We will morph. And we will flourish….’ ‘And I can now announce!’ he then said ‘that we are examining the feasibility of cage-fighting Asian hornets at Fort Regent’
Similar such positivity could be heard from Ursula Le Brocq, secretary general of the Battle Responsibly committee. ‘Creative limitations’ Mrs Le Brocq explained ‘force us to produce the finest, most original work our abilities will permit. I understand that it is disappointing to not have roses. I understand that no longer being able to weave gladioli through bicycle spokes is upsetting for St Clement. I empathise with the distress felt in St Martyn at having to shelve their primrose lunar landing craft. But know this: …. I visited St Ouen this morning. And what they are achieving with bracken fronds and a bit of blue-sky thinking is extraordinary. If those opera houses were grey, you would literally think you were in Sydney.’ ‘Let’s embrace this situation!’ she then roared ‘Let’s see this water shortage as a chance for us to really show what we are about. As islanders. As parishioners. And as citizens of an enlightened democracy!’
‘Please note’ she then said ‘That there is, this year, to be no flash photograph during the midnight parade. No dogs. No picnics. No cheering, and no alcohol’