Yorkshire Maypoles No.8 THE NEW MAYPOLE AT ROTHWELL Back to the Main Historical Society page
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Yorkshire Maypoles


Barwicker No.3
June 1994

A local group, the Rothwell Carnival Committee as it was then called, had raised £2000 from their annual July carnival and each year local groups, charities and other organisations wrote to ask for donations from the funds. It was felt that in 1990 some of the funds should be spent on something a little different and ideas were sought. A local councillor had spoken of a maypole for Rothwell but funds had never been available. So I asked if he would mind taking up the idea with our funds and purchasing a maypole.

The job of actually getting a maypole was not easy. Enquiries were made and it took several weeks before a pole was found. A 27ft. pole was bought and the council made arrangements to put it on site. The area where it was to be placed was not easy to react with a vehicle. A crane had to be used and due to the fact that it was very difficult to put up we decided that the pole had to be left up permanently.

This was just the start. Now we had a pole but it was only six weeks to May Day, the first Monday in May. We then had to raise funds to provide entertainments. Two jumble sales were held and raised approximately £200. A Punch and Judy show and street entertainers were booked and a local school was approached to do the maypole dancing. The only problem was that we did not have any idea how to do the dancing and which music to use. We did find a local school who had music and they would work with the teachers to show their children the steps. The school woodwork department offered to make the bracket for the ribbons and we were on our way.

The local fire brigade was approached to fit the bracket up on May Day. All was coming together and the only thing we needed was a nice day. Monday morning came, the sun shone and the crowds came out. 500 people came to see Rothwell's new maypole. The day was a huge success. Everyone h ad fun. It was the first of many May Days as we decided to hold the event annually. Each year the event grew with more entertainment and spectators.

I decided after eight years of organising the Rothwell Carnival and four years of May Days to retire. Others took up the challenge and this year's event was a great success.


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