A VILLAGE community gathered at the weekend to keep a 77-year-old tradition alive.

On Saturday, June 8, residents of Whitley turned out to crown Phoebe Hodgson as the village's 2024 Rose Queen.

A procession, featuring the incoming and outgoing Rose Queen retinues, kicked off the afternoon's proceedings.

Whitley Village School children also joined in the procession, dressed in 1940s-style clothing and singing songs from the period, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Writing in the event programme, new Rose Queen committee chairman, Mike Rea, who has been in the role for a year, said: "We have several new residents to Whitley and we warmly welcome you to the village.

"Being part of a small community offers the opportunity for us to get together and support village life.

Northwich Guardian: Rose Queen Phoebe Hodgson before and after the coronationRose Queen Phoebe Hodgson before and after the coronation (Image: Whitley Rose Queen committee)

"We look to keep traditions alive for future generations to enjoy; like the coconut shy and tug of war, but also fresh ideas like cheerleaders and Bubbleology."

Music was provided throughout the event by the Roberts Bakery Band, which also joined the procession.

Performances from Whitley Village School pupils, the Dyas Lishman Dance Academy and Apex cheerleaders entertained the crowds, which were nourished with a licensed bar and a barbecue.

Elsewhere at the event was coconut shy, Bubbleology teas, face painting, and  obstacle course, and Smash-a-Plate. A tug o' war challenge also took place in the afternoon.

Mr Rea also thanked sponsors and volunteers for their help in organising the fete.

Northwich Guardian: The 2023 (left) and 2024 retinuesThe 2023 (left) and 2024 retinues (Image: Whitley Rose Queen committee)
Sponsors include Landtech Solutions Ltd, Antrobus Golf Club, M S Electrical Services, Norbrook Trailers Ltd, Susan Howarth & Co, Bluebell Cottage Gardens & Nursery, Merryfall Cakes, and Zebra Removals.

Funds raised on the day will go towards putting on a Christmas party for the village's retirees and a children's party later in the year.

Mr Rea added: "It really is a community event. If you would like to get involved, it's a great way to meet neighbours and make new friends.

"Please email us at whitleyvillagerosequeen@gmail.com or contact any committee member."