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Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Thursday, 9 December 2010
Marking 100 years of the Jersey Battle of Flowers

Look back at Battle of Flowers 1910

The Jersey Battle of Flowers started life as a celebration of the Coronation of Kind Edward VII in 1902 but was so popular it returned the following year.

In the early days of Battle, floats were usually horse drawn and flowers were torn off at the end.

It was the practice of tearing and throwing flowers that gave the event the Battle of Flowers name.

Now, 108 years after that first event, thousands still flock to Jersey to watch the islands biggest annual event.

Battle of Flowers 1910 (British Pathe)
The 1910 Battle included a float with a fairy tale theme

The Battle of Flowers stopped during the WWI, starting up again in 1926 and again during the German occupation of the island - starting again in 1951.

The early days of Battle were similar in form to the spectacle that spans Victoria Avenue every August now - just a lot smaller.

Newsreel footage from British Pathe of the 1910 Battle shows floats drawn by horses, led by small boys holding a road and floats covering in flowers, on float were girls in white surrounded by a gazebo.

There was also a flower covered castle tower with a fairy tale King in a big crown and long beard surrounded with little boys in sailor suits.

The largest ever crowd for Battle - over 60,000 people - was in 1969, it would never be as popular again.

Battle veteran Florence Bechelet said that every hotel was full that year and a special boat was put on.

She said: "It would bring people in the morning and take them back at night. It's the best thing we have in the island."

Battle of Flowers 1910 (British Pathe)
Battle of Flowers started in 1902

Jersey's Economic Development Minister, Senator Alan Maclean, said Battle and other events need to find private sponsors to keep them alive.

He said: "Events that need public funding need to be given some assistance in putting their proposition together as a package that will appeal to the private sector for corporate sponsorship purposes.

"I'm absolutely convinced that there is opportunity there to raise more money to support these important events."

The 2010 Battle of Flowers main parade is on Thursday 12 August with the Moonlight Parade on Friday 13 August. It's thought around 25,000 people will watch this years event.

Have your say
Should the battle be put back into the Battle of Flowers? What do you think of the annual event?

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Ryan (BBC Jersey)

Ann - you can see footage of the 1957 Battle of Flowers on the British Pathe website .

Alan, Grouville

If you want to attract more crowds to the Battle again, then it is time that the States declared it a Bank Holiday. You may then get more locals attending?

Ann, St Helier

Do you have access to photos or video footage of the 1957 Battle of Flowers, my twin sister and I were on the front of the Old Springfield Roller Skating Club Float. We ran out of white flowers the night before the Battle, so some of us went out into the country "borrowing" white flowers, all for a good cause.

M, St Brelade

Yes. Put the battle back in the Battle of flowers, get the onlookers and holiday makers more involved and maybe more locals will start going back to see it.

Remembering the Battle of Flowers
05 Jul 10 |  History
Host parish enters battle float
05 May 10 |  Jersey
Young bands play Battle arena
18 Aug 09 |  BBC Introducing
Danny Young named Mr Battle 2010
29 Jun 10 |  Arts & Culture
Tourism plans 'threaten festival'
24 Mar 10 |  Jersey
Record-breaking Moonlight Parade
17 Aug 09 |  Arts & Culture

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