Pageants 101

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  1. Charles Kingsley Centenary Pageant
    Charles Kingsley is today a somewhat neglected Victorian writer. If he is remembered at all it is for his strange underwater fable of Victorian morality, The Water-Babies (1863). Historians of lite...

  2. The Pageant of Centuries
    Buckden Palace was formerly the seat of the Bishops of Lincoln, first constructed sometime in the twelfth century and continually extended, rebuilt and repaired (due to recurring fires) over the ce...

  3. Pageant of Burley
    This is an example of a small-scale village pageant of the interwar period. Interestingly, the proceeds of the pageant were to go to fund missionary activities overseas. The focus of the pageant wa...

  4. Pageant of Bignor
    In 1911 Bignor had a population of 112, fewer than the number of performers ‘of all grades of society, and mainly drawn from the immediate district’3 who participated in the Pageant of Bignor.4 As ...

  5. The History of Boldre
    The Women’s Institute (WI) was extremely active in the interwar pageant movement. Although responsible for some very large-scale pageants, such as that held in Warwick in 1930, the WI also staged a...

  6. Pageant of Sport
    Abinger’s previous pageant had been held in 1934 and was famously written by E.M. Forster, a local resident, with music provided and conducted by Ralph Vaughan Williams, who had been born in the lo...

  7. Adel Church Octocentenary
    Adel is a small, semi-rural suburb in the north of Leeds, West Yorkshire, which stretches across the River Wharfe. The name comes from its Saxon settlers, Adel or Adele meaning a ‘dirty muddy place...

  8. The Bradstone Pageant
    The Bradstone Pageant of 1929 was a small event staged by Mary Kelly, the influential founder of the Village Drama Society. Also involved in the production of the pageant was Arthur Quiller-Couch, ...

  9. Bramshill Park Historical Pageant
    This pageant was held in the grounds of Bramshill House in Hampshire, and is an example of the many small pageants held in and around great country estates in the interwar period. Perhaps appropria...

  10. ‘The Highway’: A Pageant of the Roads
    Old Basing lies in the north-east of Hampshire, a few miles east of the settlement which it spawned and is now eclipsed by—Basingstoke. Old Basing, which goes back to Domesday Book, lay on the Grea...

  11. The Pageant of Abinger
    The Abinger Pageant is probably the most written-about pageant due to the two figures behind its creation, E.M. Forster and Ralph Vaughan Williams. In discussing this pageant, the literature has te...

  12. George Herbert Tercentenary
    Pageants often attracted a range of eminent writers, poets, historians and other ‘literary types’. Examples include the historian Charles Oman in the 1907 Pageant of Oxford; the writer Arthur Quill...

  13. Gildersome Pageant
    The Gildersome Pageant is an example of an interwar village pageant. As evident from its organisational structure (seven separate committees), it was rather grander in scale and ambition than many ...

  14. A Pageant of Two Parishes: Ingatestone and Fryerning
    This was an example of a village-level pageant held to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was unusual in that it was a pageant of not one, but two, local parishes: Ingatestone and Fryern...

  15. Lilias Day Pageant: The Story of Kilbarchan
    The Lilias Day celebrations in the old weaving village of Kilbarchan dated back to the early eighteenth century, when William Cunninghame of Craigends, chief magistrate of Kilbarchan, gave the name...

  16. Cranford Pageant
    When we think of pageants as early twentieth-century affairs, it is a little incongruous to read the following in a pageant programme: ‘Please switch off mobile phones and pagers and kindly refrain...

  17. The Red Rose of Lancaster: A Dream Pageant of the Olden Days
    This small-scale performance demonstrates that the dramatic format of historical pageantry had not developed in such a way that it became the province only of larger centres of population. The smal...

  18. Historical Pageant of Claverley and Its Neighbourhood
    The village of Claverley lies at the extreme east of the county of Shropshire on a road some ten miles from Wolverhampton and around four miles from Bridgnorth. In 1931 its population was 1215, thi...

  19. A Pageant of Colmonell
    The village of Colmonell is in a particularly remote part of lowland Scotland that is still intensely rural and heavily dependent on local agriculture and forestry for employment. The nearest sizea...

  20. Historical Pageant of Hartshead and Kirklees
    The Historical Pageant of Hartshead and Kirklees was the second of three pageants staged at the site by the Reverend H.N. Pobjoy between 1927 and 1929. As Pobjoy wrote in the introduction to the pa...