"Borris dancing" at 60th Ribchester Field Day and other topical teasers make it a day to remember

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Politics was fair game when a model of Big Ben was paraded through a Lancashire village at the weekend, accompanied by a troupe of “Borris” dancers.

Floats and parade entrants took a topical turn at the 60th Ribchester Field Day year with amusing entries taking a side swipe at contemporary politics in Westminster and red tape wrangles over bunting.

Big Ben was an eye catching model created for the Rib Club Band float which was adorned with caustic and ribald slogans. Lookalikes of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, sporting blonde wigs, Boris face masks and pink tutus accompanied the float, which included a maypole.

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Other entrants paid tribute to the Queen’s new friendship with Paddington Bear and her love of Corgis. Tribute was also paid to the workers who helped get the nation through the worst of the Covid pandemic.

The Rib Club Band Borris Dancers      Photo: Fiona FinchThe Rib Club Band Borris Dancers      Photo: Fiona Finch
The Rib Club Band Borris Dancers Photo: Fiona Finch

Ribn Club Band spokesman John Dickinson said: “We normally start the float on the Monday (before field day). We started on Thursday night – we were a little bit complacent this year!”

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The float playlist, which included the Big Ben bongs had been created by John’s niece Deborah Cracknell who lives in New Zealand and is an academic and DJ and the idea for the float was originally hatched at a hen party.

The Field Day weekend had started with a show by RATS (Ribchester Amateur Theatrical Society ) on Friday night. On Saturday the parade was followed by the crowning of new Queen Sophie Holgate, a morris dancing display and field events, including a display by Pendle Dog Agility, marquee classes, side stall games, a circus skills workshop, children’s races, refreshment tent and a mini fairground on Saturday. A family disco and games on Saturday night were followed by local group Fat Jack’s Garage Band. The celebrations concluded with a Jacob’s Join tea party on Sunday afternoon complete with children’s entertainer Mr Jolly and music and song from a trio comprising vocalist Jess Edie, keyboard player Oscar Wieczorek and guitarist Harvey O’Connell.

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Dancing in the street - The Rib Club Band Borris Dancers     Photo: Fiona FinchDancing in the street - The Rib Club Band Borris Dancers     Photo: Fiona Finch
Dancing in the street - The Rib Club Band Borris Dancers Photo: Fiona Finch

The Covid pandemic caused the cancellation of Field Day in 2020 and 2021 and Field Day Chairman David Smith said: “It was just great to get back after three years and you got the sense the village felt that as well. The float (and parade entries) were very high quality – very well thought through and very imaginative.”

He made special mention of the 60th Field Day Ribchester Icons entry which comprised a tribute to Field Day essentials - the bands who play regularly in the parade, children’s entertainer Mr Jolly , Field Day Queens the village morris dancers – and the bunting, which was shown locked up in handcuffs.

David noted that to put the Field Day on numerous obstacles had to be overcome including rising insurance costs and the disappointment over new county council rulings which would have required extensive and expensive checks to hang bunting from lamp posts. He also thanked the many volunteers and local companies, seen and unseen, who help ensure the event, held on the Ribble Valley village’s recreation ground, is a success.