In the article posted last Tuesday, I asked if anyone had any further information to add to the list of participants in earlier May Days. I received a most unusual, and very welcome, reply – from Rev Rob Parker-McGee.
We agreed that the May Day tradition had been kept alive in the village for many more years than the school’s involvement, although I couldn’t begin to give a date, but Father Rob pointed out two carvings in the Chancel of the Church, behind the High Altar, where there are two effigies of both May Queen and Consort, which could suggest a medieval connection. The following two images are of the May Queen and her Consort. Age hasn’t dealt kindly with the stone, but colour can still be seen on the daisy-type flowers around the queen’s head.
Forward to 2017, and Thursday 25th May dawned with a stunningly bright summer sky, which augured well for the coming festivities. After the short church service, the children paraded from church to Cross, led by Imogen and Eric. Head teacher Martin Adamson, introduced Jim Harker CBE, who performed the crowning ceremony. Whilst the classes were lead to their seats, there was an opportunity for parents to take photos of their youngsters on the steps of the Cross.
Mr Adamson then introduced a new aspect to the event, by introducing first, Anne-Marie Sandos, Education Officer from Boughton House. She was dressed in a WWI nursing uniform from the Volunteer Aid Detachment and, secondly Graham Bundy, dressed in a WWI uniform of a Major in the Northamptonshire Regiment. Each explained the elements of a Heritage Lottery Funded project in which the School and Boughton House have joined forces, to research and write guided tours to explore the impact the war had on village life. Naturally, Geddington.net has offered help and information from our Archive.
Then the really serious aspect took place – the dances, which the children had been practicing for some time in the playground. (Living so close, I can now hear the tunes in my sleep!). All six classes took turns to do the twelve intricate dances, culminating with the incredibly complex Sword Dance. Congratulations to all who took part and many thanks to all the teachers and helpers who created another wonderful, traditional, May Day.
Click on the images to enlarge them.
Copies of any of the images are available from Pam Hopkins, firstname.lastname@example.org.