Mastering the arts of May

May Day revellers at Centenary Green in Wisbech have been marking twin traditions that stretch back to the dawn of time and to campaigns for building a better world at the start of the Victorian era.

Wisbech mayor Councillor Garry Tibbs was initiated into the arts of May by event organizer Lynda Robinson, a volunteer at Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House at 7 South Brink, as he stepped up to the seasonal challenge with members of her family and an all-age cast of revellers.

With the help of accordionist and green man, Keith Aplin, the band of volunteers and members of the public took ribbons on a converted flagpole at the national memorial on the South Brink to the National Trust co-founder, Octavia Hill, to take clockwise and anti-clockwise turns around the pole before tracing more complicated weaving patterns.

The folk celebration of new growth in spring also recalled the May Day rallies of Octavia Hill’s father, James, who marked the date in the early nineteenth century by marching through the town with members of his United Advancement Society demanding land for a local utopia.

 Mr Peter Clayton, chairman of the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust, said:  “Once again we have revived an ancient Wisbech tradition and dovetailed it into the community today.”