Sun shines on traditional Ribble Valley May Queen Festival

The new and old May Queen's and their retinues. All photos by Capt. David McNamee.
The new and old May Queen's and their retinues. All photos by Capt. David McNamee.
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An annual event steeped in tradition - Slaidburn May Queen festival - was enjoyed by crowds of onlookers yesterday.


The Slaidburn, Newton, Dunsop Bridge, Lane Ends and Tosside festival, started with a service at St Andrew's Church at Slaidburn followed by the crowning of the May Queen, who this year is Sadie Wilson from Slaidburn by Jean McNamee. Sadie takes over from retiring May Queen Madeleine Hayes from Dunsop Bridge.

The new May Queen Sadie Wilson (left) with the retiring May Queen Madeleine Hayes.

The new May Queen Sadie Wilson (left) with the retiring May Queen Madeleine Hayes.

Henry Caine acted as this year's crown bearer, while the train bearers were Lexie Cowking, Sophie Robinson and Olivia Robinson. The sword bearers were Zack Morris, Corey Wood, Luke Waddington, Michael Pearson, William Bradley, Dilan Lowther, Charlie Guest and Jack Waddington.

The first May Queen Festival was held in 1931 and is the opportunity for each of the villages in the Hodder Valley to take it in turn to select a May Queen and retinue from the local primary school children.

The festival continues to maintain many of its traditional beginnings and, during the church service at St Andrew's, resident Year 6 primary school children at Brennand's and Thorneyholme schools are awarded a dictionary to mark their imminent move to secondary school. All primary school children, meanwhile, receive a monetary gift from the Slaidburn Estate.

The church service is followed by a procession through the village led by the Slaidburn Silver Band.

The procession led by Slaidburn Silver Band.

The procession led by Slaidburn Silver Band.

Festivities continued with entertainment provided by the local schoolchildren including Maypole dancing, a children's five-a-side football tournament, children's and adult races as well as egg catching.

An exhibition about the 88 year history of the May Queen was also displayed within the village hall courtesy of Slaidburn Archive.

May Queen sports race results:

40 yards, age 5,6 and 7, boys - 1 Freddie Burgess, 2 Owen Cocks, 3 William Bradley; girls - 1 Briony Du'Melow, 2 Freya Robinson, 3 Katie Kirkbridge.

New May Queen Sadie Wilson on stage with her retinue.

New May Queen Sadie Wilson on stage with her retinue.

25 yards, up to 4 years, boys - 1 Maddox Du'Melow, 2 Harrison Dugdale; girls - 1 Elizabeth Stephenson, 2 Ava Breaks.

80 yards, 8, 9 and 10 years, boys - 1 Ben Dugdale, 2 Max Williams, 3 Henry Royston; girls - 1 Sophie Robinson, 2 Tilly Hester, 3 Jessica Glendinning.

80 yards, 11, 12 and 13 years - boys - 1 Thomas Breaks, 2 Nathan Robinson, 3 Jack Parker; girls - 1 Charlotte Whitacker, 2 Madeleine Hayes, 3 Sadie Wilson.

80 yards, 14, 15, 16, girls - 1 Rachel Glendinning, 2 Rebecca Ramsden, 3 Eva Howard.

The Maypole dancing.

The Maypole dancing.

Sack race, 7 and under, boys - 1 Freddie Burgess, 2 Zak Burgess, 3 George Whitwell; girls - 1 Briony Du'Melow, 2 Freya Robinson, 3 Eve Williams.

Sack race, 8 to 9 years, boys - 1 Inigo Baker, 2 Matt Williams, 3 Arthur Hester; girls - 1 Ruby McQuarrie, 2 Lilly Breaks, 3 Olivia Robinson.

Sack race, 10 to 11 years, boys - 1 William Abbot, 2 Ben Dugdale, 3 Maciej Zbikowski; girls - 1 Madeleine Hayes, 2 Sadie Wilson, 3 Pippa Mason.

Sack race, 12 and over, boys - 1 Aaron Cocks, 2 Nathan Robinson, 3 Thomas Breaks; girls - 1 Rachel Glendinning, 2 Millie Wilson, 3 Rebecca Ramsden.

Open wheelbarrow, 7 and under - 1 Freddie Burgess and Eve Williams, 2 Freya Robinson and Oliver Dugdale, 3 Zak Burgess.

Open wheelbarrow, 8 and 9 years - 1 Henry Royston and William Abbot, 2 Darcie Wilson and Jessica Glendinning, 3 Arthur Hester and Andrew Allan.

One of the sports races.

One of the sports races.

Open wheelbarrow, 10 and 11 years - 1 Pippa Mason and Sadie Wilson, 2 Max Wright and Ben Dugdale, 3 Sophie Robinson and Megan Cowking.

Open wheelbarrow, 12 and over - 1 William Whitacker and Declan Parker, 2 Millie Wilson and Rachel Glendinning, 3 Nathan Robinson and Jack Parker.

Open slow bike, 16 and under - 1 George Ireland, 2 Rachel Glendinning, 3 Andrew Parker.

Open three-legged, 7 and under - 1 Freya Robinson and Oliver Dugdale, 2 Zak Burgess and Dilan Lowther, 3 Freddie Burgess and Eve Williams.

Open three-legged, 8 and 9 years - 1 Darcie Wilson and Jessica Glendinning, 2 Lilly Breaks and Ruby McQuarrie, 3 Max Williams and Freddie Burgess.

Open three-legged, 10 and over - 1 Millie Wilson and Rachel Glendinning, 2 Megan Cowking and Pippa Mason, 3 Charlotte Ramsden and Rebecca Ramsden.

Men's adult flat race - 1 Thomas Robinson, 2 Richard Atton, 3 Andrew Cowking; women - 1 Joanne Breaks, 2 Katie Hester, 3 Pamela Brennand.

Men's adult sack race - 1 Gary Cocks, 2 Dave Allen; women - 1 Rachel Glendinning, 2 Katie Hester, 3 Pamela Brennand.

Open Riverbank Tearooms race - 1 Eva Howard, 2 Brant Middleton, 3 George Ireland.

Egg catching - Andrew Rigby and Amy Rigby.