Hampshire Cultural Trust

Maypole dancers in Broad Street, Alresford, around 1955

  • Today Mayday is a bank holiday which provides an opportunity to enjoy a day off in the spring sunshine but the popularity of the more traditional aspects of the British Mayday seems to have waned.

    Mayday can trace it origins to the pre-Christian religions and the celebration of the arrival of spring.

    Maypole dancing along with the crowning of a May Queen were once very popular aspects of Mayday celebrations across the country with maypoles erected on village greens and parks.

    This photograph is part of an archive of Hampshire Chronicle glass plate negatives from the late 1940s/1950s which are cared for by the Hampshire Cultural Trust. The collection provides a window on events around Winchester in the period immediately after the Second World War.

  • Historic Photograph of May day celebrations