Visiting superfans are ready for the Battle once again...
THERE is not long to wait until this year's Battle of Flowers officially gets under way – and it's not just Islanders who are getting excited...
Mike (74) and Linda (67) Flay have been travelling to Jersey every year for the past three decades to take in the sights and sounds of the parade.
The couple, who live in Calne, Wiltshire, book their holiday to the Island in December and have their seats for Battle – every year in Stand A – booked well in advance.
While in the Island they also take a tour to check on the progress of the float building.
Mrs Flay said: 'We always try to visit some of the sheds before the main Battle parade. I love seeing all the floats before and then on the day. I'm always so shocked when they are finished in time.
'We always like the entry from St Clement – it's just fantastic how they do it.'
The couple are staying at the Mayfair Hotel this year, but previously spent holidays staying at the Havelock Guesthouse in Havre Des Pas and the Carlton Hotel, in St Helier.
They have friends who they meet every time they visit, and they continue to purchase UK lottery tickets for one man they met some 20 years ago.
Mr Flay said: 'We turned up at the Mayfair this year for the first time in seven years and we got a lovely greeting and everyone remembered who we were. It's gestures like that that go a long way.
'I have a friend who I have known for about 20 years and he asked me if I could do the lottery for him in the UK.
'He sends me a cheque every month and I put it on for him every Wednesday and Saturday.
'He phones me every year to ask when we are arriving in Jersey and when we can meet for a drink.'
This year the Flays, who have three children and five grandchildren, are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. And they say that it was their love of carnivals which brought them together.
Mr Flay added: 'The first time we met properly was when I took my nephew to the fair in Calne. He was dressed as a post box and I started taking photos of him. Linda was the carnival queen's attendant and she asked me if I was going to get the photos developed because she would like to see them.
'We were married a year later.'
They will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on 7 October.
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