PICTURES: Tangmere Flower Festival

Tangmere Flower Club chairman Jean Wright with her arrangement, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks171010-1

Tangmere flower arrangers produced a terrific floral celebration of Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday over the bank holiday weekend.

The Tangmere Flower Festival was making a return to the ancient church after 18 years – and it was well worth waiting for.

Tangmere Flower Club, in conjunction with St Andrew’s Church, hosted the three-day event, with the theme Wartime Songs.

Jean Wright, flower club chairman, said: “The theme was chosen as it is the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn. The flower arrangements were inspired by songs she sang during the war.

“Tangmere church is a lovely setting for the festival, it is a small church built in Saxon times, one feature is the ancient hollow yew tree by the door, said to be even older than the church.”

Recorded music was played during the festival and the flower arrangements were enhanced by wartime objects, on loan from Tangmere Military Aviation Museum.

Visitors were also able to see war graves of British, Allied and German airmen killed during World War Two and visit Tangmere Military Aviation Museum which is close to the church.

Churchwarden Hilary Barclay said: “Many people found their way for the first time to the lovely old church of St Andrew.

“Tangmere Flower Club got together with the church flower ladies to put on a splendid show, helped by teams of top-class arrangers from local clubs.

“Wartime songs were playing as you entered this charming old building, a sense of peace and nostalgia surrounded by a feast of flowers and genuine old objects loaned by Tangmere Military Aviation Museum created a charming and interesting atmosphere.”

Some of the song titles depicted in flowers were We’ll Meet Again, Roll Out The Barrel, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square and Run Rabbit Run.

It is estimated that 500 or so visitors came over the three days and it was enjoyed by many people.

Comments left in the visitors book included ‘wonderful’, ‘magnificent’, ‘stunning’, and ‘just beautiful’.

The festival was made possible with the help of local sponsors and organisers gave a special thanks to Jane Walker Event Florist for her help and advice.

Tangmere Flower Club is hoping this event will encourage more people to join the club or offer to arrange church flowers. If you are interested, contact chairman Jean Wright on 01243771327 or email Hilary at

More from Lifestyle