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300 children of the Wesleyan Sunday School and Band of Hope assembled "to revive some of the innocent festivities of the English May-Day"

Cradley Links wishes to record our grateful thanks to Linda Lamberg, who generously supplied this clipping and the accompanying transcription.

The "District News", c. 1895


MAY-DAY CELEBRATION.-On Saturday last the children of the Wesleyan Sunday School and Band of Hope made their fourth, and very fair attempt, to revive some of the innocent festivities of the English May-Day. No field being available for the gathering, the friends had to be content with the chapel grounds, the chief ceremonies taking place in the schoolroom. With an abundance of flowers, however, some very tasteful decorations were arranged by Misses Pearson and Twigg; and when at four o'clock upwards of 300 children had assembled, and were each one provided with a bunch of flowers, the schoolroom presented a most charming appearance. Among the donors to the funds were Sir Benjamin Hingley and Mr George Cadbury, whose names, when mentioned, were received with loud and hearty cheering. The programme opened with a selection of music by the Wesleyan string band, after which a "Dialogue of flowers" was given by 14 girls, each one decked in the costume of the flower represented. The piece, closing with a song, was performed with much grace and sweetness, and reflected great credit on the training given by Misses Quilter and L. Bloomer. The great event of the day came next, namely the election of the May Queen. This was effected in a very fair manner by the ballot; and the happy lot fell to Annie Worton, (daughter of Joshua Worton and Elizabeth Darby) of Overend. She was at once crowned, and amidst enthusiastic cheering took her seat on the throne. The "Queen's Speech" having been read, the children and friends were marshalled in two ranks down the chapel walk, to await the coming of the Queen. She soon appeared attended by her "Maids of Honour," and reaching the front gates, she distributed buns and flowers to the poor children outside. A procession was then formed, and after encompassing the chapel grounds a time or two, the children returned into the schoolroom where a banquet of oranges and buns awaited them. Half an hour's play then another orange 'to take home to mother,' brought the afternoon's proceedings to a close.

May day celebrations c.1895