Celebrating Tulips!

Tulip Festival, Cannon Hill Park

The Tulip Festival, Cannon Hill Park, 11 May 1968 [Recreation & Parks / Box 4]

To celebrate the arrival of the spring sunshine I thought I would post this uplifting photograph of the Tulip Festival that was held in Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham. As far as I know the festival was extravagant and successful in the 1960s, reportedly drawing crowds of over 20,000 people. However, the celebrations disappeared in the late 1970s to be replaced with other events.

The festival included stunning floral displays, people in Dutch costume, fair ground attractions, a road train, performances. People may remember the windmill in Cannon Hill Park which was built in the 1950s. There was a windmill which was actually a mock mill, it was created with the co-operation with the Dutch and survived until the 1990s. 

There is not a wealth of information about this festival generally available, although Archives and Heritage hold some really interesting material in numerous collections. For example, relating to the strategic organisation and success of the event, in the Council Minute Books. We also hold newspaper coverage, photographs and we have a DVD converted from a cine-film of festivities in 1962.

One of my favourite quotes I have read relating to the festival is It was a little bit of Holland in the centre of Birmingham’.

Amanda Edwards
Digitisation & Outreach


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