The Milford-on-Sea Pageant & Fete
With thanks to Bob Braid for information about this pageant.
Place: Newlands Manor (Milford-on-Sea) (Milford-On-Sea, Hampshire, England)
Number of performances: 1
4 August 1930
Name of pageant master and other named staff
- Arranged and Produced by [Pageant Master]: Platt, Mrs Morris
- Honorary Secretary: Mrs Wilson
Names of executive committee or equivalent
- Miss Magnay
- Col. Tyndale-Biscoe
- Capt. Gerald J. Adams
- Capt. Hancock, RN
- Miss Brougham
Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)
Names of composers
- Holst, Gustav
Numbers of performers150 - 200
Judging by the programme, about two hundred men, women and children may have been cast members.
Object of any funds raised
- Milford-on-Sea Memorial Hospital
Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest
- Fete, which included a Whist Drive, Side Shows and Stalls.
The Saxon Settlement of Milford
This opening episode was set around the year 790, and featured Danes as well as Saxons. It was organised by inhabitants of Milford.
In the New Forest, near Milford, August 2nd, A.D. 1100
This episode portrayed the death of King William II (William Rufus), while out hunting in the nearby New Forest. The story has it that the king was hit by an arrow fired by one of his courtiers , the arrow glancing off an oak tree before striking and killing the king. The Rufus Stone marks the spot where the fatal tree is said to have once stood.
Induction of the First Vicar of Milford, A.D. 1339
The Village of Milford in the time of King Henry VIII
Set around the year 1540, this episode featured the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII (a popular subject-matter in historical pageantry throughout the twentieth century). The manor of Milford had originally belonged to Christchurch Priory, which was deprived of its holdings around this time.
The Village of Milford in the Time of King Charles I
This episode featured smuggling and dancing in the time of Charles I, before the Civil War. It featured songs in praise of the king.
The Village of Milford A.D. 1647
Milford at the time of the English Civil War, complete with 'Puritans', 'Loyalists' and—perhaps rather incongruously—folk dancing, mummers, and a 'fool's jig' performed by a bear, a hobby horse and a little girl. (The bear was not a real bear, but a man in costume.)
'England my Country' was sung by the whole cast of performers.
Key historical figures mentioned
- William II [known as William Rufus] (c.1060–1100) king of England
- Henry VIII (1491–1547) king of England and Ireland
- Tirel, Walter (d. in or before 1130) courtier and landowner
- Wolsey, Thomas (1470/71–1530) royal minister, archbishop of York,
- Henrietta Maria [Princess Henrietta Maria of France] (1609–1669) queen
of England, Scotland, and Ireland, consort of Charles I
- Charles II (1630–1685) king of England, Scotland, and Ireland
- James II and VII (1633–1701) king of England, Scotland, and Ireland
- Charles I (1600–1649) king of England, Scotland, and Ireland
- Music was provided by Madam Fey & Company's String orchestra and by the Hollybrook Boys' Band
- Maypole Dances were performed by new Milton children under the direction of Mrs Wilkinson and Mrs Seymour
- A number of songs were performed during the pageant. These included a 'King Henry VIII song' (sung by Rev. C. Hatton); a 'Smuggler's Song' (sung by Mr C. Foot); and 'Here's a health unto His Majesty' (sung by Mr C.W. Hatton)
- Holst's 'England my country' was sung in the finale.
Newspaper coverage of pageant
Book of words
Other primary published materials
A programme for the pageant was produced. One such programme is in the possession of Bob Braid; an e-copy of this is in the possession of the project team.
References in secondary literature
Archival holdings connected to pageant
Sources used in preparation of pageant
On Bank Holiday Monday in early August 1930, a pageant and fete was held in the grounds of Newlands Manor, home of the Sir John Power, MP for Wimbledon. The event was put on in aid of the Milford-on-Sea War Memorial Hospital, and included what was billed as 'The Historical Pageant of Local Incidents', arranged and produced by Mrs Morris Platt.
Supported by a string orchestra and the Hollybrook Boys' Band, the pageant was a fairly elaborate one for a small place such as Milford, involving perhaps as many as two hundred performers in acting parts. It told the story of the locality from its settlement by Saxons in the eighth century through to the seventeenth century. The episodes had many features common to early twentieth-century pageantry, including a marked focus on royal figures (William II, Henry VIII, Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria all appeared), and a strong dose of patriotism—the performance concluding with a rendition of Holst's 'England my Country' sung by the whole cast.
How to cite this entry
Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘The Milford-on-Sea Pageant & Fete’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1591/