Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Thriplow’s 54th Daffodil Weekend

Posted on by royvickery |

Thriplow, a village in south Cambridgeshire, has held a daffodil event, currently known as Thriplow Daffodil Weekend & Country Fair, each year since 1969.  In 2023 this took place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March.

In the spring of 1966 the two churchwardens, looking down from the church tower, saw the village gardens ‘full of  cheerful daffodils and spring flowers’, and came up with the ‘idea of opening houses and gardens to the public to raise the funds needed for church repairs’.

In 1969 ‘the Church, the Smithy, eight gardens and four houses, as well as the Green Man pub, were open to the public, all at the cost of 3s 6d (just over 17p), with children at one shilling (5p)’.  £204.56 was raised for the church restoration fund.

During the early years all the money raised was used to support St George’s church, but by 1977 the funds were divided between the church the village hall, both of which received 30% of the funds, and the school and village cricket club, both of which received 20%.  Currently profits are distributed between village organisations and selected charities which operate within 30 miles of the village.

Today, although the village is abundantly planted with a variety of daffodils, the event incorporates a variety of other attractions including the inevitable craft stalls and various food stalls, a fun dog show, displays of vintage tractors, morris dancers, and a ‘petting corner’.  The organisers explain that such attractions are necessary due to the unpredictability of the weather which in turn can affect the daffodil displays.  In 2018 when a memorable event was planned to mark the festival’s 50th anniversary, snow fell.  As the chairman of the organising committee commented, ‘we wanted the 50th Daffodil Weekend to be different and memorable – and it certainly was  … [it] was the coldest on our records’.

Visitors familiar with Apple Days, which usually incorporate displays of varieties of apples, might be disappointed that the Daffodil Festival does not have a similar display, but some of the clumps of daffodils planted around the village have labels showing which variety they are.  None-the-less the such a small community can be heartily congratulated by putting on such a large event (tickets, currently £10 per adult, are limited to 6,000 a day), in such a professional way.

Information derived from anon., Thriplow Daffodil Weekend at 50, produced in 2018 to celebrate the festival’s 50th anniversary.  All photographs taken 25 March 2023.

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