Mayday Dances #Rudgwick #Maypoles @mishaherwin @MarionPitman @KTScribbles @Jenqoe

Way back in the mists of time the Sussex village where I lived had a Mayday celebration with the usual May Queen parade. I don’t recall the village having a Morris troop. If they did I don’t recall seeing them at village functions so the usual traditions fell to the primary school.

People from Rudgwick's Past (Groups) | Rudgwick Preservation Society

I am glad to say I was never picked to sit on the float. It may amuse people who know me now to know that I was a shy child. That skinny, gawky, one, who always did her best to vanish into the very back of the queue for anything and everything. As this only photo of my class that I am aware of will attest.

The May Queen’s float was reserved for a handful of girls and one unlucky boy as her ‘escort’ – a title for which he would be ragged unmercifully for weeks on end!

The rest of the class  were conscripted to dance around the maypole. there was no sign of a traditional rough-hewn pole of British Oak. Our Maypole was a mobile netball post with the net removed and a ribbon decked wheel bolted to the top. But the thought was there.

I was told that the mayday dance did falter for a while in the 1970s but was revived in the 1990s, I don’t know how true that is. A quick search online only found a ‘Rudgwick Village Day’ at which there are pictures of a small Morris troop, but no sign of any maypoles, which is a shame.

There is a fictionalised snapshot of Mayday in Sussex Tales because memories of these things fade so very quickly and in these days of distancing can vanish altogether




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