Helston Flora Day has been caught on the hop with injury forcing a change to the Midday Dance leaders.

Two weeks ago the Packet revealed that the lead set for this year would be Giles Clotworthy, Sandra Laity, Mark Eaton and Rachel Eaton.

However, this week Giles suffered a devastating injury, breaking his leg in two places and forcing him to withdraw from the dance.

As a result, the Helston Flora Day Association has called in reserve dancer Andrew Wearne – who admitted it was “a bit of shock” when he got home from holiday this week to find a letter waiting for him, explaining that he was needed.

“It’s a shock. It’s a shame Giles is injured; I knew he was hurt, but I just didn’t know it was that bad,” said Andrew, who actually danced in the Midday four years ago in the same set as Giles and used to be his next door neighbour.

This is The West Country:

Andrew Wearne 

It has proved to be something of a whirlwind few days for the 39-year-old, who got the news shortly after arriving home from a family holiday and is about to fly out again on Monday to China, through his work with Allen & Heath in Penryn – a leading designer and manufacturer of mixing desks for DJs, broadcast and recording studios.

However, Andrew, who will have turned 40 by the time he dances, acknowledged that it was a dream to be asked to lead, saying: “It’s something probably every person born in Helston dreams about; you hope you get asked one day, but you never know.”

Despite having slightly less time to prepare than the other three leaders, this should not be a problem for Andrew who in fact has already led a dance on Flora Day – when he was at primary school at St Michael’s, in the Children’s Dance.

While work and family life, as a father of two, keeps him busy these days, Andrew used to play on the first team at Helston Rugby Club almost 20 years ago and was also involved with the Colts.

Giles has been amongst the first to congratulate Andrew and wish him good luck for May 8, saying: “He’ll do a good job I’m sure.”

Initially he had been hoping he would still be able to dance, but has since learned that he will need an operation and will be facing a 12-week recovery time.

“I said to the doctors, ‘In two months will I be able to dance with lots of hopping?’ and they just laughed at me,” said Giles.

. Giles had been at Lowertown Moors looking for frogspawn and tadpoles with his four-year-old son Oliver at the time of the accident.

This is The West Country:

Giles Clotworthy being helped by ambulance staff 

With none to be found, but plenty of rubbish in the water, Giles decided, in a bid to set a good example to his young son, to start collecting this instead.

Heading further and further off the main track, there were some bottles further down a bank.

“I overreached and slipped into the water,” said Giles. “I thought my phone was getting wet so I leapt up, then my leg twisted and it all went dizzy.”

With little Oliver left on his own at the top of the bank and Giles at the bottom, struggling not to pass out and shouting instructions to his son to get help if he “went to sleep”, he somehow managed to pull himself back to the top.

From here he was able to phone for his wife Demelza and for an ambulance, although due to the remote location it took a while for ambulance staff to find him. 

There was then the problem of how to get him back through the woodland to the vehicle.

Fortunately, Bobby Eustice – best known for his role in setting off fireworks every Helston Christmas lights switch on – came along on one his vintage tractors and was able to put Giles in the trailer on the back, to transport him to the ambulance.

This is The West Country:

Giles getting a lift to the ambulance in Bobby Eustis's tractor and trailer 

Describing himself as “quite laid back” in general, although disappointed, he said: “To be honest, it’s typical me. It wouldn’t have happened any other year. I enjoyed my fortnight in the limelight!”

And while one day he hoped to maybe get the chance again, he added: “I’m just chuffed to have been asked.”