Roddam School Centenary Pageant
Place: Roddam School (Roddam) (Roddam, Northumberland, England)
Number of performances: 1
15 June 1950
The pageant took place on Thursday 15 June as part of a day of celebration in commemoration of the school's centenary.
Name of pageant master and other named staff
Pageant Master: Thornton, Miss
The school's head teacher—a Miss Thornton—produced the pageant. The school's 'managers' organised the event.
Names of executive committee or equivalent
Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)
There is no note of a scriptwriter; this was probably the head teacher—Miss Thornton.
Names of composers
The music played was probably all traditional.
Numbers of performers30 - 40
The school had a roll of 30 pupils and all took part; some former pupils joined them.
Object of any funds raised
This event does not appear to have been aimed at fundraising; however, if a surplus was made it is presumed this benefited the school's funds.
Centenary of the foundation of Roddam School.
- Grandstand: No
- Grandstand capacity: n/a
- Total audience: 80 - 120
Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest
It is unlikely this event was ticketed.
Unspecified Centenary celebrations
Episode I: Prehistoric Times
The children enact a scene depicting life in 'prehistoric times' in the area.
Episode II: Scottish Raid, 1385
A scene depicting 'local inhabitants preparing to repel a raid by the Scots in 1385'.
Episode III: The Opening of the School
'Mr and Mrs Roddam of that day' opening the school in 1850. The children wear original costumes preserved from this time.
Episode IV: School after 100 years
A display of singing and dancing involving traditional songs.
Key historical figures mentioned
The children provided singing of traditional songs, particularly in episode IV, which included the song 'Bobby Shaftoe'. Music was likely recorded.
Newspaper coverage of pageant
Book of words
Other primary published materials
References in secondary literature
Archival holdings connected to pageant
Sources used in preparation of pageant
The owners of Roddam Hall had originally endowed the small rural school at Roddam in 1850; the pageant commemorated the centenary of this. Local press coverage states that the school had 30 pupils in 1950 and all took part in the pageant, which was directed by the head teacher. The article further states that one of the children taking part was the daughter of a former German prisoner of war, who had settled in the area.1 The current owner of Roddam Hall—Major G.C. Holderness Roddam—opened the pageant. Mrs Gilroy of 'Roddam Home Farm' baked a 'birthday cake'—indicating that this was still a working estate.2 The audience of around one hundred people all came from the surrounding area. The pageant had only four episodes and these were linked by narration briefly describing the 'the events which took place' in the intervening years. The second episode is typical of pageants in the northeast and was set while the famous Henry Hotspur was warden of the East Marches, although it is not known if Hotspur (Sir Henry Percy) featured in the action.
'Centenary Day Pageant Recalls School History', Northumberland Gazette, 16 June 1950, 3.
How to cite this entry
Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Roddam School Centenary Pageant’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1440/