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Maypole-0012.jpg Hemswell May Day

May Day in Hemswell Village

At the centre of Hemswell Village there is a very tall wooden Maypole that has been in situ since Victorian times. By the Maypole is the Village Hall, an old school that was purchased for the residents of Hemswell and Harpswell in the 1970s. At this time the May Day village fete was re-established and once again ribbons were fixed to the Maypole for dancing.

Children from local schools and surrounding areas gather around the Maypole several weeks before May Day to be taught the traditional dances that weave the ribbons into intricate patterns. On May Day the children get excited to dress up in traditional Lincolnshire costumes. The boys wear smocks and the girls wear long floral skirts, white aprons and fen-bridle bonnets.

Part of the tradition is the Hobby Horse (the Obby Oss). He wonders around with a note asking for money for his stable, i.e. the village hall. The Obby Oss is still part of West Country May Day events but as far as we know it is now the only one in the area.

As well as the children dancing, once again the residents of Hemswell welcome the Tatterfoal dancers from Scunthorpe. They are a team of ladies and gents wearing traditional green costumes and clogs. Their dances have names such as Garland and 'Hankie,' named for a mythical ghost horse that is said to roam the lanes of Lincolnshire.

The country fete on May Bank Holiday Monday (this year 6th May from 1.00pm to 4.00pm) is run by volunteers from the village and they have lots of stalls, old fashioned games, good food and local beer.

Start: 06/05/2019 13:00
End: 06/05/2019 16:00
Hemswell Village Hall, Maypole Street
DN21 5UL