Norfolk Federation of Women’s Institutes Pageant

Other names

  • Pageant of Norfolk History and Legend

Pageant type

Jump to Summary


Place: Earlham Park (Norwich) (Norwich, Norfolk, England)

Year: 1926

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 2


10 June 1926 at 2pm and 7pm

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Writer [Pageant Master]: Smith, L. Lamport, MA
  • Producer: Mrs Jenkins
  • Musical Director: Mr Maddern Williams
  • President: Evelyn L. Suffield

Names of executive committee or equivalent


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

  • Smith, L. Lamport, MA

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


Financial information


Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion


Audience information

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events


Pageant outline

Afternoon Performance

Episode 1. The Martyrdom of Edmund, King of East Anglia

Episode 2. The Entry of the Ports of Blakeney, Cley, and Wiveton into the Hanseatic League

Episode 3. The Laying of the Foundation Stone of Ditchingham Church Tower

Episode 4. The Flemish Weavers at Great Massingham

Episode 5. The Earl of Leicester and Amy Robsart

Episode 6. John Rolfe Weds Princess Pocahontas

Episode 7. Lord Astley Before the Battle of Edgehill

Episode 8. A Fete at Earlham, 1750

Episode 9. Nelson is Welcomed by the Yarmouth Corporation

Evening Performance

Episode 1. Boadicea

Episode 2. Queen Eleanor opens Great Melton Fair

Episode 3. The Love Story of Margery Paston

Episode 4. Margaret Paston and Edward IV

Episode 5. Anne Boleyn

Episode 6. Kett’s Rebellion

Episode 7. Queen Elizabeth at Kimberley

Episode 8. A Masque at Oxnead

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Edmund [St Edmund] (d. 869) king of the East Angles
  • Dudley [née Robsart], Amy, Lady Dudley (1532–1560) gentlewoman
  • Dudley, Robert, earl of Leicester (1532/3–1588) courtier and magnate
  • Pocahontas [Matoaka, Amonute; married name Rebecca Rolfe] (c.1596–1617) Algonquian Indian princess
  • Rolfe, John (1585–1622) colonist and entrepreneur
  • Astley, Jacob, first Baron Astley of Reading (1579–1652) royalist army officer
  • Nelson, Horatio, Viscount Nelson (1758–1805) naval officer
  • Boudicca [Boadicea] (d. AD 60/61) queen of the Iceni [also known as Boudica]
  • Eleanor [Eleanor of Aquitaine], suo jure duchess of Aquitaine (c.1122–1204) queen of France, consort of Louis VII, and queen of England, consort of Henry II
  • Margaret Paston (1421/2–1484)
  • Edward IV (1442–1483) king of England and lord of Ireland
  • Anne [Anne Boleyn] (c.1500–1536) queen of England, second consort of Henry VIII
  • Kett, Robert (c.1492–1549) rebel
  • Elizabeth I (1533–1603) queen of England and Ireland

Musical production


Newspaper coverage of pageant


Book of words

None known

Other primary published materials

  • Norfolk Federation of Women’s Institutes Pageant. Norwich, 1926.

References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Copy of Programme in Norfolk Heritage Centre, Norwich Millennium Library, Reference, C791.62

Sources used in preparation of pageant



Women’s Institute Pageants were highly popular during the 1920s and early 1930s, with the WI’s ‘county’ pageants being particularly successful. Other County Women’s Institute pageants were held at Oxfordshire (1926), Staffordshire (1928), Berkshire (1928), Dorstet (1928), Warwickshire (1930), Northamptonshire (1930), Hampshire (1930), and Northamptonshire (1948). The Institute already possessed many of the organisational skills which made for successful pageantry, on top of skills in costume-making and catering—which the Institute encouraged. The Norfolk Federation of Women’s Institute Pageant drew on a total of thirty-five local branches of the Women’s Institute and was patronized by the Queen. Due to the large number of branches who wished to take part, the pageant included different scenes during the afternoon and evening performance, with the first performance focusing on the history of the county told from a largely male perspective and the second performance retelling Norfolk’s history from the perspective of women. The pageant’s success was evidently eclipsed, however, by the much larger Norwich Pageant held in July 1926 at the Newmarket Road Ground.


How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Norfolk Federation of Women’s Institutes Pageant’, The Redress of the Past,