A FREE festival of flowers brought a riot of colour to St Michael’s Church in Melksham at the weekend.

Melksham & District Flower Arrangement Society (MDFAS) showed off their best displays throughout May 12 to May 14, and members were on hand to answer questions from fellow green-fingered enthusiasts over a cup of tea, too.

More than 60 arrangements were created especially for the event, which was the brainchild of Rotary District Governor Eric Sambell, who suggested the rotary team up with the MDFAS as part of celebrations for 100 years of the Rotary Foundation.

“My sister Sarah is part of the rotary so Eric suggested that we team up,” said Caroline Christopher, 50, chair of MDFAS.

“It seems obvious now that you think of it! The fact that it was the Foundation’s 100th birthday gave us the push we needed to come up with the idea.

“We had to work around the church, so May was the ideal time, before wedding season starts. We were open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so the whole community had ample time to come and enjoy the displays.”

The group hit an unexpected snag, however, when they found wholesalers had put up the prices of blooms in the run up to the event. “We didn’t realise that Mothers’ Day in the US would affect prices over here,” Mrs Christopher said. “But we managed to get everything we needed in the end.”

On Saturday night, celebrations continued with a concert by the Chippenham Male Voice Choir.

The group, who meet on the third Tuesday of every month at Spencer Sports & Social Club on Beanacre Road. Demonstrations start at 2pm and most professionals create five or six displays in these interactive workshops. New members and complete beginners are always welcome - see www.flowerssouthwest.com/melksham.