Title ID 4514Collection ID567
Title[Fernhurst School May Day Revels]
Date[1944 - 1945?]
CollectionC L Rickett
ThemeRural Life
KeywordsCelebrations Children Festivals Folklore Pageants Rural Areas Spring Villages
RegionalWest Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionMr C. L. Rickett
CameraMr C. L. Rickett
FormatMixed Colour and Black & White Silent
Duration13min. 25sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


The May Day Celebrations of Fernhurst School are captured in this amateur silent film. Pupils, some decorated in folk costume, parade through the village to a nearby field, where they take part in maypole and other traditional dancing. The May Queen helps to serve tea to the children before they return to the school.


The film opens with a boy dressed as St. George leading a procession of small children; a teacher assists. Girls dressed in white dresses and wearing daisy garlands follow the boys in the procession. On a field nearby, the children dance and skip around a maypole; the ribbons blow freely in the breeze. The children wearing costumes stand on a decorated platform in the field near to the maypole; parents of the children stand nearby watching. As the children skip and dance, the May Queen is presented with bunches of flowers. The children continue to dance, the boys perform a morris dance and a mixture of children dance around the maypole. The May Queen, with a highly decorated floral crown is seen pouring tea for the children as they sit around tables. After tea, the procession moves off along a path and up a steep road. Brief scenes of boys climbing in and out of a ground floor window. Some of the boys dressed in Scouts uniforms join the procession as it makes its way to the school. Outside the school, children play and dance and a few of them wave at the camera as the film ends.