Hellesdon Pageant

Other names

  • A Pageant to Celebrate 600 Years of Living and Caring

Pageant type

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Place: Hellesdon (Hellesdon, Norwich) (Hellesdon, Norwich, Norfolk, England)

Year: 1970

Indoors/outdoors: Indoors

Number of performances: 1


Unspecified date during 1970

[The pageant was probably held in St Mary's Church]

Name of pageant master and other named staff

Names of executive committee or equivalent


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

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


Financial information


Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion

600th anniversary of the village church of St Mary’s

Audience information

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events


Pageant outline

I. Prologue

In 870 [869], very near this spot, the gentle King Edmund and his Angles are overrun by the marauding, pagan Danes. And Edmund, offered his life, prefers to die rather than compromise his faith and integrity by sharing the pagan throne.

II. Man and His Work

i) Village life in 14th century Hellesdon is shown, with various kinds of work going on. St. Mary’s is built and dedicated.

ii) The crops are blessed, and the parish bounds beaten. The harvesting of the crops is celebrated with dancing and thanksgiving to God for his bounty.

iii) To-day too our work is to be offered to God as something sacred. A parade shows some of the industries carried on to-day in Hellesdon.

III. The Education of Man

  • i) A fascinating glimpse from 1668.
  • ii) A step forward in the local training of teachers – 1855-90.
  • iii) ‘Concern for others’ in School today.

IV. The Care of Men in Sickness

In eight short scenes, some glimpses are given of how man, inspired by love and faith, have tried to care for the sick. From the work of Jesus, the story passes through Saxon witchcraft, superstition and herbalism, to the present understanding of the physical and spiritual roots of sickness.

V. Family Life in 1370.

Marriage—baptism—breakfast—school—14th century fun and games!

God still cares about family life. The caring remains the same: though perhaps you will be glad of some of the changes on man’s side!

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Edmund [St Edmund] (d. 869) king of the East Angles

Musical production


Newspaper coverage of pageant


Book of words

None known

Other primary published materials

  • Hellesdon 600th Anniversary Programme and Pageant Synopsis. Norwich, 1970. [Price 6d]

References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Copy of Programme in Norfolk Record Office, Norwich, Reference PD 700/137

Sources used in preparation of pageant



Hellesdon had celebrated a previous pageant in 1951. This 1970 pageant, strongly religious in its themes, was staged by local schoolchildren in St Mary’s Church (the 600th anniversary of which the event commemorated). It was a small-scale affair, performed just once.


How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Hellesdon Pageant’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1387/