May Day

From Clifford Chambers
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There was one day in the life of our village during the early part of last century – in fact probably all through the centuries before – when the children of the village were very much involved in the tradition of May Day Miss Wilding practised them in the May singing. Mrs. Emily Sylvester (always referred to as Mrs. Charlie Sylvester) made the maypole out of two hoops decorated with flowers that the children had picked the evening before.

Emily Sylvester

Then, accompanied by the May Queen dressed in white, the girls in their best dresses and laden with flowers, went round to each house singing. The May King, sporting a blue and yellow ribbon across his chest was also in the crowd, the boys with him in stiff collars. May songs were sung outside each house. One of the songs they sang was:-

			Dance round the Maypole
			Trit, trot, trit
			See what a maypole we have got
			Fine and gay, skip away
			Happy is our new May Day.

The money collected went on the tea. Mrs. Charlie Sylvester, who lived at No 20, had a large garden at the back. Trestle tables were laid out and the children sat down to a scrumptious tea.