COLNE'S Millennium Gala procession was afloat with Titanics - but on a super show day no-one had that sinking feeling!

In fact it was a day to remember as three groups took up the blockbuster film theme in float displays watched by thousands of supporters lining the town's main street.

The best of them was Colne and Nelson Rugby Union Club who came out of the competition scrum with the Traidmark Trophy for the top vehicle display entered in the colourful parade.

The procession - smaller than last year because of a clash of dates with Keighley Gala - steamed along in bright conditions, a far cry from last year's rain soaked Saturday. And although the organising committee's plans to invite Kosovar refugees, recently arrived at Calderstones, Whalley, as special guests to the event, failed to come off because of red tape problems, people packed the Alkincoats Park showground in droves to enjoy Colne's premier social outing of the year.

Burnley FC defender Chris Brass officially opened the Millennium Gala and it was a big day for 17-year-old Nicola Riley, of Laneshawbridge, who was crowned gala queen.

People flocked to the large fairground and enjoyed the dance displays, band concerts and other special attractions.

A football signed by the all-conquering Manchester United players brought brisk bids at a special auction.

Organising spokesman Donald Leaver said: "It has been a great event, with no real hitches, and lots of fun and entertainment."

He added: "It is a pity the guests from Kosovo were not able to enjoy it too, but we plan to do something for them in the near future." Clothes and glassware retailers Boundary Mill again showed style in the parade, winning the best trade float trophy with the Snow White display.

The Ike Murray Trophy for the best display by a voluntary group was won by the 8th Colne Brownies and Brierfield and Reedley Gala took the Maureen Davis Trophy for the best gala queens float.

Churches were united at the gala as St John's Methodists, Bethel and Church of the Nazarene combined to win the best church or Sunday school float award, beating the parish church into second spot.

East Lancashire beat off the Yorkshire challenge in the majorettes competitions, with the Red Rose troupe from Blackburn giving the best display and Hyndburn Comets providing the best parade.

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