Two festival queens prove elusive


Wanted: Two missing queens.

The Alexandra Blossom Festival is celebrating its 65th year and hopes to invite former festival queens to take part in the celebration.

Festival event manager Martin McPherson said they had a list of all former queens dating back to 1957, but were missing addresses for two — 1976 festival queen winner Liz Irvine and 1978 winner Julie Taylor.

Mr McPherson planned to mail an invitation to former queens for this year’s 65th anniversary to take part in this year’s festival including the opening ceremony and a ride in a vintage car during the parade.

He hoped readers of The News would be able to share contact information for the two former queens.

Archives held at the Central Stories Museum & Art Gallery were able to provide some information about the two former queens.

Collections manager Sheridan Easdale had conducted a search revealing colour photos of the festival floats.

In 1976, 16-year-old Alexandra shop assistant Liz Irvine was the princess on the Earnscleugh Fruitgrowers float ‘‘Beehive’’.

In 1978, 18-year-old Post Office employee Julie Taylor was the princess on the Alexandra Lions Club float ‘‘Dresden China’’.

The museum held many donated records relating to the blossom festival, including press clippings and photographs.

It also held an extensive collection of tapes, film, slides and video taken by Les Thomson over many years at most of the blossom festivals.

One of Ms Easdale’s tasks during the Covid-19 lockdown was to collate a list of items Mr Thomson had provided to the museum, but more work was needed to understand the scope of the collection, she said.

Missing princess . . . A 1976 photo of the Earnscleugh Fruitgrowers float ‘‘Beehive’’. Princess Liz Irvine is hidden behind the float . PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS FILES / CENTRAL STORIES MUSEUM
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