Merry way to kick start May

Young students from three local schools are joining forces to kick start the spring season when they sample a taste of merry England on May Day in Wisbech town centre.

Boys and girls from Tydd St Mary Church of England Primary School, together with Orchards Church of England Academy, Wisbech and St Peter’s Church of England Junior School, Wisbech, are expected to take a spin round the maypole on the town’s Centenary Green.

The celebration is taking place in the shadow of Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House at 7 South Brink, Wisbech, where the town’s most famous daughter – who went on to become a leading social reformer and co-founder of the National Trust – was born.

Octavia Hill volunteer Lynda Robinson, a former primary school teacher, will initiate the children into some of the finer points of making May Day magic during a festive display that is free to watch.

Besides the traditional folk celebration of new growth and the coming of spring, the festivities will also recall 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.

Lynda Robinson said:  “Events such as this are valuable in the development of young people, because they learn a disciplined way of working with others.”

The flagpole, a prominent feature of Centenary Green, was designed as a tribute to the Hill family and can be converted into a maypole whenever school groups need to use it.

The event, on Wednesday, May 1, will be attended by Wisbech mayor Councillor Peter Human.   It starts at 10am and runs until 12 noon.