Making the maypole garlands Back to the Main Historical Society page
Back to the Barwicker Contents page

Making the Maypole Garlands

Barwicker No. 5
March 1987

The garland's basic frameThe garlands in procession 1966

I came to the village of Barwick in 1942 and right from the start became involved in the Maypole celebrations, and over the years I have enjoyed every minute; it gets into your blood.

I was shown how to make the garlands by my mother-in-law, Mrs Wall, from an old local family who had long carried on the village traditions. Barwick was then a much smaller place and the garlands were made by just a few families in their cottages.

As soon as the maypole is taken down on every third Easter Monday, the making of the new garlands begins. Each has a steel frame thus. First this is wrapped in silk stockings followed by a hessian cover, both inside and outside. The rosettes are made from silk or cotton material cut into strips 8ins long by 2ins in width and each strip is then made into a rose, 1500 rosettes in all. The rosettes are then packed tightly, starting at the top and working down, with no spaces. The same is done on the outside. When this is done white tape is fixed inside the garland to which is attached 48 Red, White and Blue ribbons, placed anti-clockwise and finished with 48 Bells neatly sewn on to the ends of the ribbons. When this is done, the ribbons should measure l4ins in depth all the way round. Then inside the garland, a basket of artificial flowers is suspended.
When the four garlands are ready, they are taken round the villages by members of the Maypole Committee for all to see.

Gwen Wall

Back to the top
Back to the Main Historical Society page
Back to the Barwicker Contents page