Friday, 7 September 2012

May Day, Haslemere 1910

Following on from my May Day posts which included First of May is Garland Day , an article written in The Vineyard in 1911by Maude Egerton King, I have come across a report on Haslemere's May Day celebrations of 1910.

Peasant Tapestry curtain,
designed by Godfrey Blount
The Artist. November 1897

The Times ("May Day In London." Times [London, England] 2 May 1910: 6. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 7 Sep. 2012.) reported on a "Festival at Haslemere", writing that:

"A charming May Day festival took place at the Hall of St. George, Haslemere, on Saturday.  It was arranged by Mr and Mrs Godfrey Blount, who are well-known for their close association with the New Crusade, the Peasant Arts Society, and other movements connected with a higher life on simple lines.  The festival began with a big muster of children weaving garlands and wreaths, and carrying Maypoles adorned with wild flowers.  The children were awarded prizes for the prettiest displays.  A folksong concert with a lecture on homespuns and a demonstration of distaff and wheel hand-spinning followed.  The object of concert and demonstration simultaneously was to show that it is possible to do the necessary work of the world with musical accompaniments.

"The members of the Guild of Country Players concluded the festival with a display of Morris and country dancing."

The emphasis on working and listening to music, is particularly interesting.

from Arbor Vitae,
Godfrey Blount, Fifield, 1910

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