Yorkshire Maypoles No.14. ELVINGTON Back to the Main Historical Society page
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Yorkshire Maypoles


from The Barwicker No.50

Situated about six miles to the south-east of York, the village of Elvington is a settlement of neat well-maintained dwellings of the mottled red brick that is common in the East Riding, together with a few small modern housing developments.

A short distance from the village centre, the road crosses the River Derwent by a fine stone bridge with two elegant arches. Below the bridge is a weir and a lock which allows boats to proceed up the river in the direction of Stamford Bridge. Nearby there is a major scheme for the abstraction of domestic water from the river.

The tall stone-built church with its square tower, wooden bell chamber and squat steeple stands between the houses of the village and the river meadows. The Elvington aerodrome is a mile or two out of the village.

In the centre of the village is a long neat green, flanked on one side by the beck and the road, and on the other by houses and the post office. The Elvington Maypole stands in the centre of this attractive publicly-owned space.

The wooden pole is set in a sunken steel pipe and is a modest 20 feet or so in height, divided along its length into brightly painted quarters of white (2), red and blue. The top of the pole has no adornments of any sort but about 12 feet from the ground there is a ring of small ribbon hooks.

The Elvington Maypole was a telegraph pole which was donated to the community and it was put up in 1977 by a group of villagers, including Mr Terry Wilson, the present Chairman of the Parish Council, to commemorate the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

The children of the village danced round the pole on that occasion and have done so ever since at the annual church fête in the early summer. They are taught the maypole dances at the Elvington Church of England Primary School. The pole has not been taken down since it was erected but it is re-painted when necessary.

We are sure that our readers will join me in wishing every success to the Elvington Fete Committee in maintaining the maypole traditions in their area. I thank Mr and Mrs Wilson for kindly supplying information about the maypole.

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