Exhibitors felt the heat – but Battle day weather looks OK


However, more ideal conditions have been forecast for tomorrow’s parade, with temperatures due to peak at a comfortable 21°C and rain showers due to disappear during the morning.

One of those involved in the preparations for the event, Michelle Ollivro-Murphy, co-ordinator of the Ollivro Family & Friends’ floats, said that the weather had made flowering her float more difficult.

‘We have had quite a few problems with the heat and we have had to try to keep the flowers cool, which in turn has meant that they have not really opened that much. We have also had quite a few which have wilted, especially on the junior float, which is pink, so we have had to swap those out for other colours.’

Mrs Ollivro-Murphy added that the recent rainfall and the fact that the branchage had not yet been completed meant that low-hanging branches were at risk of damaging the float when it made its journey to the arena on the Thursday morning.

‘Last year it was pouring with rain and we were having issues with flowers not sticking to the float, but now the glue is setting before we can even put the flowers on,’ she said.

‘Our biggest challenge now is going to be getting the float to Victoria Avenue in one piece, as there are an awful lot of trees on the route to St John’s main road and the branchage has not been done yet.’

And the heat has not been the only challenge for the Battle of Flowers, with some floats, including St Martin and Trinity, struggling to recruit a sufficient number of volunteers.

Erik Rueb, who is due to drive Trinity’s float, said that the warm weather and Islander’s busy lives had made building this year’s float more challenging.

‘It is getting harder and harder each year to get volunteers, as people are
leading much more busy lives than they used to,’ he said. We have tried to keep everything cool but we have found that some of the flowers wilted very quickly or have gone brown in the centre.’

But some exhibitors – among them St Brelade, St Helier, St Lawrence and St Saviour – say they have taken the warm weather in their stride and are all due to finish on time.

John Keast, a volunteer for St Brelade, said that it was business as usual.

‘We have fans out every year, so it has not been any different this year. If you go back 30 years ago this weather would have been the norm during the summer.

‘We are on schedule and so far we have had a good year, so I am very pleased.’

And Islanders going to watch the parade are being advised to make sure they slap on plenty of sunscreen, with rain showers due to clear in the morning, leading to long sunny spells.

Bryan de Gruchy, duty forecaster for the Jersey Met Office, said: ‘There are likely to be showers which will clear during late to mid-morning, with sunny periods developing in the afternoon.

‘At the moment, the afternoon is looking like it will be dry and the greater risk will be from the sun, with a UV index of around seven.’

He added: ‘Winds will be from the north or north-east and be mainly light, so it should be a reasonable afternoon.’


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