Huntingdon Pageant

Pageant type

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Place: Castle Hill (Huntingdon) (Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England)

Year: 1990

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 3


20-22 September 1990, at 7.30pm

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Pageant Master: Phillips, Keith
  • Technical Director: John Morgan
  • Slides and Projection: Tanzy Lee
  • Lighting Design: Peter Levitt
  • Assisted by: Paul Jeffries, Gareth Harris, Simeon Coombes, Sophie Rowlings, Alex Chamberlain, Andrew Sach, Matthew Levitt, Tierce Britten
  • Stage Crew: Bob Pugh, Chris Hunnam, Bob Beattie, Alan Robinson, Alex Schieber

Names of executive committee or equivalent

  • Chairman: Mike Bloomfield
  • Secretary: Ted Bocking
  • Treasurer: Tony Rockall
  • Keith Phillips
  • John Morgan
  • Beryl Robertson
  • Christine Simon
  • Colin McCulloch

Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • Stephenson, Charles
  • Combe, Iris
  • Phillips, Keith
  • Piper, Annette
  • Watkin, Susan
  • Hackler, Sgt. USAF
  • Bocking, Ted

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


Financial information

Object of any funds raised

To raise funds for the ‘Brighter Huntingdon’ campaign.

Linked occasion


Audience information

  • Grandstand: Not Known
  • Grandstand capacity: n/a
  • Total audience: n/a

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events

Each performance of the pageant concluded with a firework display.

Pageant outline

Prologue “A Huntingdon Yet to Come”

The Pageant begins one evening in a Huntingdon that might yet happen; we meet our Guide for the history lesson.

Part 1. The Romans Build Ermine Street

Presented by Panto 89.

Part 2. The Castle

Presented by Huntingdon District Council.

Part 3. Queen Elizabeth at Hinchingbrooke, 1564

Presented by Huntingdon Drama Club and Fenstanton Morris.

Part 4. Oliver Cromwell

Presented by the Company.

Part 5. Samuel Pepys, 1665

Presented by the Company.

Part 6. The Coming of the Railway – 1848-1850

Presented by A.A.R.S. and Huntingdon District Council.

Part 7. The Huntingdon Cycle Battalion, 1914-18

Part 8. World War II, the Evacuees

Presented by Panto 89.

The story here is a true one, based on a conversation with Stella Nicholson, an evacuee.

Part 9. Alconbury Story

Presented by the Company.

The birth and growth of the Air Force Base at Alconbury and its contribution to the war effort.

Part 10. The Huntingdon Ring Road – 1972.

Presented by Panto 89.

Part 11. The Golden Mace of Huntingdon – 1990.

Part 12. The Beacon, 1992.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Elizabeth I (1533–1603) queen of England and Ireland
  • Cromwell, Henry (1628–1674) soldier, politician, and lord lieutenant of IrelandJames I
  • Pepys, Samuel (1633–1703) naval official and diarist

Musical production


Newspaper coverage of pageant

Book of words


Other primary published materials


Huntingdon Pageant 90 [Souvenir Programmme]. N.P., 1990. [Price £1.]

References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Poster, tickets, programme and typescript: Huntingdon Archives, Acc. 3992.

Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • Pepys’s Diaries.
  • Carlyle, Thomas. The Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, 4 volumes (1845).


This pageant was billed as ‘A Festival of Local History encapsulating 2000 years of Huntingdon’s history in a series of costume scenes by local schools, players and organisations supported by sound and visual effects.’1 It was the third pageant in Huntingdon after the Hinchingbrooke (1912) and Huntingdonshire (1953) pageants. The Chairman of the Brighter Huntingdon Committee wrote the following of the Pageant:

The Pageant is one of the hundred or more schemes considered by the Town Council’s Brighter Huntingdon Committee and is probably the most ambitious yet adopted. Hopefully it will give real pleasure both to the spectators and participants. And if we learn something of Huntingdon’s rich history at the same time, so much the better. Many people have asked why we are putting on the Pageant in 1990 and I have racked my brains, without success, for a plausible reason. For fun, or whatever ‘Brighter Huntingdon’ is about.2


  1. ^ Huntingdon Pageant 90 [Souvenir Programmme], (n.p. 1990).
  2. ^ Mike Bloomfield, ‘Foreword’, in ibid., 1.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Huntingdon Pageant’, The Redress of the Past,