Aberford Parish Church Grand Pageant

Pageant type

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Place: Grounds of Aberford Almshouses (Aberford) (Aberford, Yorkshire, West Riding, England)

Year: 1953

Indoors/outdoors: Unknown

Number of performances: 2


22–23 August 1953

[22 August at 7.30pm and 23 August at 7.45pm]

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Writer and Producer [Pageant Master]: Hood, Sam
  • Scenery: D. Mallinson, J. Page, W. Knock
  • Assistant Stage Manager and Narrator: Miss B. Rishworth


Sam Hood was a local butcher and churchwarden

Names of executive committee or equivalent


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

  • Hood, Sam

Names of composers


Numbers of performers

100 - 120

Financial information


Object of any funds raised

In aid of Aberford Parish Church

Linked occasion

Coronation of Elizabeth II

Audience information

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest

2s 6d–1s.

Associated events

Open Air Evensong at 6.45pm on 23 August

Pageant outline

Elizabeth I

Burning of Guy Fawkes

Arrival of William and Mary in a Galleon

Queen Anne

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, George V and Queen Mary, Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) and King George VI and Queen Mother

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Elizabeth I (1533–1603) queen of England and Ireland
  • Fawkes, Guy (bap. 1570, d. 1606) conspirator
  • William III and II (1650–1702) king of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and prince of Orange
  • Mary II (1662–1694) queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland
  • Anne (1665–1714) queen of Great Britain and Ireland

Musical production


Newspaper coverage of pageant

Yorkshire Evening Post
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer

Book of words

None known.

Other primary published materials


References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant


Sources used in preparation of pageant



The Aberford Coronation Pageant, held to celebrate the Coronation of Elizabeth II, was one of hundreds of such ventures across the country (see entries for, e.g., Burnley, Lancaster, Ingatestone and Fryerning, Warwickshire, Edwinstowe). It was written and produced by the local village butcher and churchwarden, Sam Hood, in aid of the local St Ricarius church, reputed to be the only one dedicated to that particular saint in Britain.1 The Pageant featured a number of scenes depicting the monarchy – particularly Queens – from the accession of Elizabeth I to the present. An early scene was supposed to have featured bowmen from a local archery club. Unfortunately, due to a mix-up over the date of the Pageant, they failed to attend, with the club’s secretary, Mr Allan Smith, telling the Yorkshire Post that ‘For some reason or other the date has got mixed up…We have it down for next Saturday—August 29. The first we knew of the mistake was today, when one of our members who lives at Aberford came over and told us.’2 Thus, while the fiasco of the Bradford Centenary Pageant (1947) had largely extinguished the memorable tradition of large-scale pageantry in West Yorkshire, small villages such as Aberford and Bedale (1951) continued to hold pageants.


1. ^ Yorkshire Evening Post, 14 August 1953, 3.
2. ^ Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 24 August 1953, 3.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Aberford Parish Church Grand Pageant’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1436/