LYMM MAY QUEEN PROJECT

 

PART ONE - The Early Years  1888-1948

 

The aim here is to produce a book as a lasting record that all can share and enjoy.  

The project will look at

  1. How the event came about, initially born out of the Bands of Hope Movement but drawing on other existing events like Knutsford’s May Queen, Warrington’s Walking Days and, to some extent, Rushbearing.

  2. How the event struggled to get established amid concerns that a temperance event was turning into a bumper day for the licensed trade.

  3. The stories of the May Queens themselves. Who were they? What was their background?  How were they chosen? What did it mean to them to be May Queen?

  4. The “Committee” – sometimes churches, later tradesmen and local volunteers with the good of the community at heart.

  5. The other “performers” – John Bull, Britannia, The dancers etc .  

  6. The “missing years” and what caused them: everything from smallpox, coronations and outbreaks of  war, to financial difficulties and an occasional lapse into apathy or fatigue!

  7. Other events that “spun off” from Lymm Festival – Statham Festival, Rush Green May Queen, Newfield May Queen, Lymm Walking Day (1908-1912?)  Lymm Cotton Queen ( as part of Rushbearing)

  8. We will start in 1888 – Yes there was an event that year - and go as far as 1948. That was the  first post war May Queen and served as a template and a platform for what has followed since.

And of course there will be lots of pictures – of processions, of crownings, portraits of the May Queens, other places and people associated with the event.

How you can help.

  1. Each year May Queen prints a list of past May Queens but it only starts in 1948. That is where we will finish. One of the first tasks was to find out something about each year including the names and stories of the May Queens.  We have found most but there are gaps. Take a look at the list lower down  this page. Can you help fill in the gaps? Perhaps one of your ancestors was one of these May Queens? If so what can you tell us about them.

  2.  Do you have any items that could help us; family mementos, old press cuttings, programmes, stories, photographs that could help tell the story?

  3. Maybe you would like to be involved in producing the book, perhaps by doing more research for us.

It promises to be a fascinating project full of insights into village history that will be a lasting record of this important event.  Remember this part of the project is just 1888- 1948.   Go back to the main project page if you want to also learn about PART 2 of the project - 1948 to present day. 

If you have pictures, stories, ancestors, programmes , press cuttings you would like to share please get in touch.  All material will be returned once we have digitised it.

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