Spring Bank Holiday Monday at Wellow was even more special than normal as the village celebrated 100 years of recorded history of its famous Maypole Celebrations.
There has been a maypole on the village green for much longer than this, but detailed records of the actual celebrations start in 1923. In that year a new maypole was erected and the maypole celebrations involving the crowning of the May Queen and maypole dancing were recorded in the local newspapers. Reporting on Mabel Bowman the May Queen being crowned by the Marchioness of Titchfield was too good to miss!
Since then there have been very few breaks in the tradition. In the late 1920s, possibly due to the Depression, a few years were missed. Then the festivities stopped again after 1936 and then World War II intervened. The Maypole Celebrations, together with another new maypole, were resurrected in 1950 and have been held every year since, apart from 2020 and 2021 because of Covid.
It was a delight to have the May Queen of 1951, Gay Wright (nee Bartle) help to open the event. The maypole green was crowded with spectators to witness the crowning of this year’s May Queen Charlotte Baugh, herself a member of a Wellow family that has been a part of the celebrations through at least three generations. The crowning was followed by the traditional maypole dancing by local children. Visitors could also view a stand with a collage of 250 photographs from the last 100 years.
Aside from the traditional highlights, other entertainment came from street performers ‘Medieval Maniax’, vocalist Annabelle Elizabeth, Rattlejag Morris dancers and Ollerton Town Drum Corps. Youngsters were enthralled by Punch and Judy, children’s swing boats and rides. As always, there were also lots of stalls and attractions for everyone to enjoy.
The Maypole Committee would like to thank everyone – entertainers, stallholders, volunteers and most particularly the children – for helping to make Maypole Day 2023 so special, and also of course everyone who came along on the day to enjoy the fun.
To cap it all off, the weather was absolutely perfect and made the day all the more memorable. Here’s to next year’s Maypole Celebrations – Monday 27th May 2024!