You would be hard pushed to find a more qualified couple to lead a dance on Flora Day than this year’s morning and evening dance leaders.
Between them, husband and wife Richard and Ceri Harvey have been involved in almost every area of the day possible.
Both danced at primary school – Ceri at Parc Eglos and Nansloe – before taking part in the 7am and 5pm dances.
Ceri has also been involved in the Hal an Tow, played with Helston Town Band and even walked with the children’s dance as a teacher at Helston Community College, while Richard accompanied the dances as a midday steward for the first time last year.
It will mean a busy day for the Cornwall Housing employee this year, as in between opening and closing the dancing he will also walk with the children’s and midday dances – clocking up plenty of miles.
The pair were second lead of the morning and evening back in 2009 but are looking forward to taking the front position this year.
Ceri, who works for Tempus Leisure and also coaches swimming at Helston Sports Centre, said: “To be first out for the first dance of the day is really special. We’ll come out to the first beat of the drum of the whole day. That will be really exciting.”
She is following in the footsteps of her best friend Clare O’Hare who led the same dance last year.
Both Ceri and Richard’s families also have strong connections to the day, with Ceri’s mother Carole Drew leading the midday some years ago, while her dad Barry and brother Nic are stewards.
Richard’s sister Jackie Knox has also led the morning and evening dances, while his mum is a member of St John Ambulance that attends each year and his cousin David Harvey led the midday last year.
“It’s a really family thing. We’re very much into Flora Day and about Flora Day,” added Ceri.
The couple will be joined by Andrew Steadman and Laura Frew, who complete the lead four.
Laura danced all the way through school with St Michael’s Primary and Helston Community College, only missing two years. She has also only missed two years of the morning and evening, including last year when she was pregnant.
She described herself as “shocked and privileged” at being asked to be in the lead set, following in the footsteps of her mum Alison Dodd.
Laura, who works at Helston Spar but is currently on maternity leave, has danced with Andrew for the last 15 or 16 years.
He also began dancing at St Michael’s Primary School before joining Helston Town Band and playing rather than dancing.
He still plays, but with Breage Silver Band now.
Andrew, who works for P&C Upholstery in Lady Street, said: “It’s probably the best day of the year.”