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Bradford May Queen memories
Our thanks to reader David G Roberts, of Queensbury, who brought in a fascinating selection of old pictures featuring a May Day procession, a couple of which we reproduce here.
The pictures were taken by Mr Roberts’s family, and he estimates they would be from May Day processions in Queensbury around 55 years ago, dating them back to the mid-to-late 1950s.
May Day events were, of course, a popular thing many years ago, though they don’t seem to take place quite as often these days.
They were linked to churches, though the celebration of May Day as the start of spring has very old origins, and has been celebrated since pagan times.
One lucky girl would be crowned the May Queen and would, dressed in her finery, lead the procession around a village or community, her attendants carrying her train and followed by all the girls and boys of the church in their best outfits.
Very often, onlookers would drop coins into specially-sewn little purses that the walkers dangled from their wrists, and depending on the size of the church that was running the event, there might be Scouts walking, a brass band and older members of the congregation.
Mr Roberts remembers: “There used to be a procession every May Day from Queensbury Parish Church.”
He isn’t quite sure who the people in the picture are, so if you have any ideas, or maybe if you’ve spotted yourself, then drop us a line at the usual addresses and we’ll run an update in a future Remember When? section.