Barrow Pageant of History

Pageant type

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Place: Barrow (Barrow) (Barrow, Lincolnshire, England)

Year: 1953

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: n/a


13–20 June 1953

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Pageant Master: Borril, Dora M.

Names of executive committee or equivalent


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

Borril, Dora M.


Dora Borril was a local writer and historian who staged plays for the Festival of Britain in 1951 (‘Plough Play Revived in Post-War Years’, Grimsby Telegraph, 2 May 2013, accessed 21 November 2016,

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


Financial information


Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion

Coronation of Elizabeth II

Audience information

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events


Pageant outline

Scene I. The Chest on the River.

Scene II. The Groans of the Britons. AD 447.

Scene III. The Coming of Hengist and Horsa

Scene IV. A Tournament in the Middle Ages

Scene V. The Children of Henry VIII.

Scene VI. The Virgin Queen

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Horsa (d. 455?) ruler in Kent
  • Hengist (d. 488?) ruler in Kent
  • Elizabeth I (1533–1603) queen of England and Ireland

Musical production


Newspaper coverage of pageant


Book of words


Other primary published materials

  • Coronation Souvenir programme for 'Pageant of History Barrow on Humber'; held 13-20th June 1953 to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II to the British Throne. Barrow-on-Humber 1953.

References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Hull History Centre, Hull. Typescript, reference U DDMM/29/21

Sources used in preparation of pageant



This was an example of the many relatively small-scale historical pageants held to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (see entries for Sandy and Benfleet). In this case the driving force seems to have been Dora M. Borril, a local writer and historian: as well as being pageant master, Borril was author of the script. In terms of content, the pageant focused squarely on the pre-modern era, the culminating scene featuring a visit by the first queen Elizabeth. Good Queen Bess and Elizabeth Windsor were of course closely associated in 1953, the coronation of the latter being widely heralded as the dawn of a new ‘Elizabethan age’. 


How to cite this entry

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