Film ID:
YFA 2546

BIRDWELL PRIMARY SCHOOL MAY QUEEN 1955-1957

1955-1957

Visitor Tabs

Description

This film is part of a collection of films which chronicle the 'May Queen' celebrations that took place annually at Birdwell Primary school in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. It was filmed by the school Headmaster and captured the tradition of the crowning of the Queen as well as the performances put on by the children.

This film begins with a west highland terrier jumping up on its hind legs; it has a big, blue bow around its neck.

The next sequence of shots shows the traditional procession of the retiring May Queen as she heads towards the stage with her attendants. Her hand maidens walk ahead of her throwing flower petals on the ground and one of her boy attendants carries a sceptre-style item.

This is followed by the traditional procession of the new Queen coming in through the school gate.

Title-The New Queen Anne-Marie Eastwood and her Attendants.

The Queen and her attendants go up on stage and then a teacher crowns the Queen and then makes a speech and receives a bunch of flowers.

Title- Standard 3 + girls, country dancing.

Two groups of girls get ready to perform dances. One half is in dresses and the other halve is in shorts and blouses and they line up opposite each other and do some dance routines.

Title-The school choir.

A group of girls and some boys stand in a group in front of the camera and sing.

Title-Standard 1, Sing a Song of Sixpence.

The children are dressed as a medieval King, Queen and their servants. They act out the song where the King is at his table looking through small bags of money. Some of the children are dressed as blackbirds.

Title-Standard 3 and 4 boys, physical training.

A group of boys wearing shorts do leap frogs over each other across the yard. Then there are shots of some of the boys with blind folds on and boxing other boys; a teacher walks among them giving them encouragement.

Title-Standard 2. Recorder Players.

Some boys and girls stand on a stage and play their recorders. There is a brief shot of one of the girls doing a solo piece.

Title-Infants. The three bears and Goldilocks.

The girl playing Goldilocks pretends to walk around the bear's house eating their food. The three children dressed up as bears come into the `house' and see that their bowls are empty and that baby bear's chair is broken; he starts to cry.

Title-Standard 4 Girls. Maypole Dancing.

The group of girls dance around the Maypole with the audience watching from the side-lines.

Title-Infants. `On parade'

A procession of young boys and girls marches through the gates and into the yard. They are all wearing hats and sashes and some of them are waving British flags. They march around the yard in front of the stage playing percussion instruments.

The procession of the new Queen and her attendants leave the stage and file out of the yard walking past the camera.

Title-The three Queens and their mothers.

Three women stand behind their daughters and smile for the camera.

Title-Some of the audience.

A long panning shot is taken from the stage looking down across the audience; some of some of the people are posing for the camera.

There is a brief shot of the outside of the school.

There is a sequence with one May Queen procession and then another one straight after it. Then the traditional format continues on with the attendants bowing to the Queen as she waits to go up on stage to be crowned.

A line of young girls dressed as majorettes parade into the school grounds and march on the spot for a few moments. Following this is a scene with one of the boys who is dressed as a knight fighting one of the boys who is dressed like a character from Robin Hood.

Following this scene a girl dressed like a medieval queen walks along followed by a boy dressed like a lord. He puts his cloak on the ground for her to walk on and she knights him. There are many sequences of costumed performances by the children but not all of the characters are recognisable. And then there are shots of some girls dancing around the Maypole.

There are more plays from stories including St. George slaying the dragon, a piece with Norman-style characters, Roman characters, a girl is filmed doing traditional dancing, while another girl is doing Scottish dancing.

The traditional sequence of the events means that the new Queen then leaves the stage with her attendants. There are shots of parents with their children and shots looking down from the stage onto the audience.

Title-Birdwell School, Queen Cromning (sic) 1954.

Title-Filmed and edited by R. Hastie.

Titles, S. Anderson.

Title-The retiring procession

The previous Queen walks up to the stage with her attendants and has her crown exchanged for a smaller one.

Title-The new procession

Title-Homage to new queen.

The new Queen's attendants bow before her as she stands at the base of the stage.

Title-Queen crowning by Mrs Crossland.

The teacher crowns the new Queen and is then given a bunch of flowers by an older girl.

There are brief shots of a performance where a group of children ride bicycles and scooters around the yard which has road markings drawn onto it. The children pretend to be on busy road with one of the boys pretending to be a traffic policeman.

Title-Country Dancing, stds 3 & 4 girls.

Title-Physical education, stds 3 & 4 boys.

A group of boys run around the yard and then jump up and down and leap frog over each other.

Title-Puppets, std 1.

A Punch and Judy box has been set up and a puppet show is underway. There is a shot of a group of children posing for the camera and they each have a hand-made puppet on their hand.

Title-Robin Hood, std 2.

A group of children dressed in green costumes and carrying bows and arrows re-enact the Robin Hood story. Some of the other children play the parts of the Sheriff of Nottingham's men.

Title-Maypole dancing std 4 girls.

Title-The choir.

A group of boys and girls in choral vestments stand in a group and sing.

Title-Five Queens and their mothers.

There are shots of the mothers with their daughters.

Title-Attendants 1953.

Title-Audience watch your picture.

Title-A glimpse into the future.

A woman wheels two toy prams with dolls and grins back at the camera.

Title-The labour squad.

Some of the male teachers are pushing a piano away from the stage area, they look at the camera.

Title-The End.