Burnham-on-Sea Pageant

Pageant type

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Place: Town Hall (Burnham-on-Sea) (Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset, England)

Year: 1932

Indoors/outdoors: Indoors

Number of performances: 1


13 June 1932

[The performance was held in the evening.]

Name of pageant master and other named staff


  • Organisers: Lady Fox, John Bright Clark, Miss Fleetwood, Miss Lax
  • Music Arranged by: Arthur Trowbridge
  • Organist: Noel H. Bell

Names of executive committee or equivalent


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

  • Clark, Theodore


Clark wrote the prologue.

Names of composers


Numbers of performers

Presented by the Polden Hills Group of Women’s Institutes

Financial information


Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion


Audience information

  • Grandstand: No
  • Grandstand capacity: n/a
  • Total audience: n/a

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events


Pageant outline

King Alfred and the burnt cakes

Presented by Edington Group.

Alfred disguised as a minister at the Danish camp

Presented by Mark Group.

Edward I and Eleanor at Glastonbury

Presented by Meare Group.

Queen Elizabeth and a deputation of Washerwomen

Presented by Brent Knoll Group.

King Monmouth at Taunton Presented with Gifts by Maids

Presented by Compton Dando Group.

Monmouth Cures the King’s Evil

Presented by Ashcott and Shapwick Groups.

Monmouth before Sedgemoor

Presented by Walton Groups.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Alfred [Ælfred] (848/9–899) king of the West Saxons and of the Anglo-Saxons [also known as Aelfred, the Great]
  • Edward I (1239–1307) king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine
  • Eleanor [Eleanor of Castile] (1241–1290) queen of England, consort of Edward I
  • Elizabeth I (1533–1603) queen of England and Ireland
  • Scott [formerly Crofts], James, duke of Monmouth and first duke of Buccleuch (1649–1685) politician

Musical production

Noel H. Bell performed organ works for folk dances and folk songs.

Newspaper coverage of pageant

Wells Journal
Shepton Mallet Journal

Book of words


Other primary published materials


References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant


Sources used in preparation of pageant



Women’s Institutes Pageants were extremely popular during the interwar period. This is one of the smaller ones, of which the Wells Journal remarked that ‘The work of the Women’s Institutes was shown by the fine pageantry to have been in very competent hands.’1 Like many Women’s Institute pageants, each episode was organized and performed by a different local branch (or branches) of the WI. The pageant focused on two national heroes who were especially popular in the West Country: King Alfred and the Duke of Monmouth, who occupied three scenes. Other pageants such as Bridgwater (1927), also presented Monmouth, the illegitimate son of Charles II, curing the King’s evil: an affliction was popularly believed during this period could be cured by the Monarch’s touch, suggesting that the Duke of Monmouth could claim Royal rights.


1. ^ Wells Journal, 19 June 1931, 2.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Burnham-on-Sea Pageant’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1511/