An afternoon of colour history and tradition as May Queen is crowned

Crowning of Hastings' May Queen 2017 (Cerys Rogers). SUS-170805-075356001
Crowning of Hastings' May Queen 2017 (Cerys Rogers). SUS-170805-075356001

Sunday May 13 will see the continuation of the unbroken tradition of crowning the Hastings May Queen, when the Mayor presents the new Queen with the gift of a brooch made from an old shilling coin.

The 85th Hastings May Queen elect is Beth Morton, and she will be entertained by her young subjects, the Hastings Maypole Dancers.

Organiser Barry Jones said: “Roses Are Red” are a group of young folk dancers from Bexhill, and have proved very popular at a large number of local events.

“Julian Rumball will mesmerise young and old with his Punch and Judy show and, somewhere in between, The Fiddle Choir will be providing the background for the event for the twelfth time. Fantasy Facepainting will be on hand to decorate the young and old.

“To accord with tradition, we will be escorted by young Robin Hoods, and any young outlaw dressing as the hero, or Maids Marion, will be warmly welcomed into the procession from the Park Gates to the Bandstand.

“This year sees a new Maypole which is made from mahogany and has an above ground height of 10 feet, 8 inches, or 10.66 feet. It is topped with the latest creation of Leigh Dyer, the local blacksmith, whose work decorates many areas of the town.

“Another tradition, one of the main events is a May Garland competition. This is open to individual children, couples, families, school groups and local organisations. Information packs are available from the organisers.

“Local schools have, so far, been unwilling to participate so we would ask all parents to get involved in this custom which used to be a popular Sussex pastime.

“eat@the park café supports the celebrations with their usual excellent fare, and an exhibition of the history of our May Queens. The book chronicling the history of this event will be available for sale at £9.99, or you can just obtain a programme for a donation to the Greenhouse project.

The Greenhouse Group will have their usual excellent range of plants on offer- amazing prices for a variety of May blooms.”

The programme starts at the Bandstand at 12.30 and the Crowning takes place at 2.00 with the procession from the Park gates starting at 1.45pm.

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