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Former MP Andrew George dances before his demise

It is Flora Day in Helston when men and women and boys and girls take to the streets in a series of dances to bring on the summer.

It seems the whole town comes out to celebrate - whether dancing, playing or just watching from the sidelines.

The Liberal Democrats may have been facing a wipe-out across the West Country but it didn't stop former St Ives MP Andrew George taking part in one of Cornwall's most popular customs.

Andrew George has had a role in the celebrations for many years and today - even though he was still waiting for the result in his constituency - stepped up for the Midday Dance.

Later, Mr George was to find that he had indeed lost his seat - to the Conservative Derek Thomas by 2,469 votes. It was the last result declared in the General Election and completed the transformation of Cornwall from a Lib Dem stronghold since 2005.


Hundreds flock to Helston for Flora Day

Hundreds of town's folk and children danced their way through the streets Credit: ITV News

Thousands headed to Helston for Flora Day today as the whole town came together to celebrate spring with traditional dancing through the streets.

It's one of Cornwall's most colourful traditions and thousands headed to the town for the annual event.

Taking part in the dancing is by invitation only by applying to the Flora Day Association Credit: ITV News

Helston celebrates the ancient Flora Day

The Midday Dance during Flora Day in Helston Credit: PA

Thousands of people will be dancing through the streets of Helston for one of the country's oldest surviving customs. Flora Day has traditionally marked the arrival of spring.

The first dance begins at 7am but the big highlight will be the Midday Dance.

Events are expected to continue until late into the night.

Full report: Flora Day in Cornwall

It was mixed bag for those taking part in Flora Day in Helston in West Cornwall today. It started off dry and bright, but rain began to fall

Even so it didn't put off the dancers dressed in their best bib and tucker.

From dawn till dusk the streets of the Cornish town were packed for a festival that celebrates Spring and reverberates to that familiar tune.

Our Cornwall correspondent Steve Hardy reports:


Flora Day in Cornwall

Flora Day in Helston, Cornwall Credit: ITV News West Country

Helston in Cornwall will be decked out with bluebells, gorse and laurel leaves gathered from the surrounding countryside for Flora Day on Wednesday.

Dancing began at 7am, with men were dressed in shirts and ties, and the ladies wore light Summer dresses.

Flora Day kicks off in Helston

Flora Day is one of the westcountry's oldest traditions Credit: ITV Westcountry

Celebrations for Flora Day begins in Helston today. It celebrates the arrival of spring.

Some 80 couples will dance through the town, banishing the winter and welcoming new life.

The first dance starts at 7am and celebrations will continue until late.

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