Midday dancers revealed as Helston prepares for Flora Day

Falmouth Packet: Adam Collier has been invited as second lead male, partnering his sister Dr Sara Rogers Adam Collier has been invited as second lead male, partnering his sister Dr Sara Rogers

The lead pairs for this year's midday dance on Flora Day have been revealed and for one of the leaders of this year will see him dancing through the streets of Helston just a week before walking down the aisle.

Adam Collier has been invited as second lead male, partnering his sister Dr Sara Rogers.

They will be accompanied in the lead four by Hannah Oliver and Maxim Cardew, who will be first out of the Guildhall at the stroke of noon on May 8.

May is panning out to be a particularly big month for Adam, however, who is set to marry fiancée Helen at St Merryn just a week later.

Describing it as an “honour” to be asked to lead, 31-year-old Adam said: “I’m dancing with my sister, so it’s amazing to share that with her. I didn’t expect to get asked to lead – I hadn’t considered it at all. It was a really nice surprise.”

Adam, who grew up in Helston but now lives near Padstow and works for White Design architects in Truro, has been dancing since he was seven, first at Parc Eglos Primary School and then Helston Community College through to sixth form.

He and Sara then progressed to the midday.

“It’s just a really exciting day,” added Adam, who used to play rugby in Helston up to the age of 16.

His sister Sara, a GP with Mullion and Constantine Group Practice, who also looks after half the patients at Helston Community Hospital, is equally excited.

Remembering the moment she received her invitation she said: “I had been in Treliske for a few days with my daughter with pneumonia, so that was my very exciting piece of news waiting for me on the doorstep.

“It’s just a lifelong dream. Being Helston born, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Sara, 34, led Parc Eglos Primary School when she was in year six and continued dancing through Helston School.

“It’s just a really important part of me,” she said.

Sara and Adam’s grandparents used to own G Pascoe & Co bike shop in Meneage Street, while their mum Deborah Osborne, a former teacher in Helston, is said to be “over the moon” with both being invited to dance.

First over the Guildhall threshold, however, will be Maxim Cardew and his long standing dance partner Hannah Oliver, whose family is Flora Day through and through.

Her father Chris Oliver has been secretary of Helston Flora Day Association for the last 28 years and steward since 1980, while her grandfather Len Oliver, who started the furnishing business Oliver & Son in 1935, was secretary of the association for nearly 50 years, a steward from 1947 and in the lead set of the Midday in 1949.

Her great grandfather, Leonard Wilson Oliver, had a painting and decorating business in Meneage Street and was mayor of Helston during and after the Second World War; he was also involved with procurement of the site for Culdrose Naval Air Station.

Hannah, aged 27 and currently living in London where she works as a pattern cutter for a high street fashion supplier, said: “I’m delighted to be invited to lead the Midday. It's something that being Helston born you always look forward to possibly happening.

“It will be a real honour and so nice to be dancing with Maxim again. The atmosphere is always so incredible on Flora Day and the lead up to it. I can't wait to be a part of such a wonderful tradition.”

The pair have already led together twice before – the children’s dance in 1998 as pupils of Parc Eglos and again for Helston Community College in 2005.

Maxim Cardew, also 27, works as a barrister in London but is looking forward to returning to Helston for the occasion.

He will be following in the father Paul, who danced in the first set in 2000. His gran Enid was also heavily involved in the day, on the committee of the morning and evening dance for many years.

“Flora Day means quite a lot in my family,” he said, adding of the day: “It’s something you can enjoy from when you’re really young, when it’s just magical, and then the enjoyment of the day changes and develops but it always remains the highlight of the year.”

Below Maxim Cardew and his long standing dance partner Hannah Oliver.

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Comments (4)

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1:34pm Wed 5 Mar 14

helstonborn says...

Whilst I offer my congratulations to all the dancers it does seem a shame the lead pair are of no presence or influence to Helston, they're not putting into the local community and will probably do the usual pop down a day or two before hand and flit off afterwards.
I know the requirements to be Helston born have been met but there are plenty of people around who've not taken the choice to move away from Helston- I suppose being the daughter of someone on the committee does help somewhat.
If anything the leading pair should be swapped with the second lead for a couple living working and breathing Helston.
Whilst I offer my congratulations to all the dancers it does seem a shame the lead pair are of no presence or influence to Helston, they're not putting into the local community and will probably do the usual pop down a day or two before hand and flit off afterwards. I know the requirements to be Helston born have been met but there are plenty of people around who've not taken the choice to move away from Helston- I suppose being the daughter of someone on the committee does help somewhat. If anything the leading pair should be swapped with the second lead for a couple living working and breathing Helston. helstonborn
  • Score: 19

12:28pm Fri 7 Mar 14

yecalsemaj says...

These two have lived their whole lives in our town they couldn't be more Helstonian. Just because they've been living elsewhere for a couple of years shouldn't exclude them. I know somebody who comes from as far as Scotland to take part in the Hal an Tol every year. Your attitude would kill Flora Day in about five minutes.
These two have lived their whole lives in our town they couldn't be more Helstonian. Just because they've been living elsewhere for a couple of years shouldn't exclude them. I know somebody who comes from as far as Scotland to take part in the Hal an Tol every year. Your attitude would kill Flora Day in about five minutes. yecalsemaj
  • Score: -4

5:25pm Sat 8 Mar 14

ronedgcumbe says...

It is a fact that our young people feel the need to spread there wings and enter the world. All of my young family members have moved on and hopefully to better things. I did the same 35 years ago but returned and very glad I did,
I depends on where your heart is and flora day certainly has a say in that.
it was once the case where the mayors daughter or newest bride once lead the dance perhapes Helston born is no longer a reason to lead as actually very few are with treliske. But Helston born and living should be enterered into consideration
It is a fact that our young people feel the need to spread there wings and enter the world. All of my young family members have moved on and hopefully to better things. I did the same 35 years ago but returned and very glad I did, I depends on where your heart is and flora day certainly has a say in that. it was once the case where the mayors daughter or newest bride once lead the dance perhapes Helston born is no longer a reason to lead as actually very few are with treliske. But Helston born and living should be enterered into consideration ronedgcumbe
  • Score: 15

8:14pm Mon 10 Mar 14

helstonborn says...

yecalsemaj wrote:
These two have lived their whole lives in our town they couldn't be more Helstonian. Just because they've been living elsewhere for a couple of years shouldn't exclude them. I know somebody who comes from as far as Scotland to take part in the Hal an Tol every year. Your attitude would kill Flora Day in about five minutes.
My attitude would see this pair be in the second four and someone who's still local be in the front- same number of dancers, just acknowledging those who are still Helstonians- not just born.
[quote][p][bold]yecalsemaj[/bold] wrote: These two have lived their whole lives in our town they couldn't be more Helstonian. Just because they've been living elsewhere for a couple of years shouldn't exclude them. I know somebody who comes from as far as Scotland to take part in the Hal an Tol every year. Your attitude would kill Flora Day in about five minutes.[/p][/quote]My attitude would see this pair be in the second four and someone who's still local be in the front- same number of dancers, just acknowledging those who are still Helstonians- not just born. helstonborn
  • Score: -8

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