The thick clouds hanging over Milford & Makeney on May 6th didn’t detract from the sunshine spirit of the 40th anniversary May Day celebrations.
This year’s theme of Red promised plenty of colour but those who gathered mid-morning at the Holly Bush were overwhelmed by more colours than are available on the spectrum by the guest appearance of Black Pig Border Morris, wearing vividly coloured tailcoats and top hats festooned with feathers, flowers, ribbons and bells.
Perhaps wisely, the Maids of the Mill opted not to compete with all that colour by sporting simpler yet still fetching attire of black with red hair, gloves and shoes.
There were gasps as they announced that they were to perform some pole dancing… MAY Pole dancing as it turned out; and as a homage to domesticity, they danced ‘gingham style.’
A terrific red dragon joined in the procession. Past processions have featured traditional costumed figures, including a female Hobby Hoss, a large brown bear, and several papier-mache Friesian cows under attack from a matador on stilts.
There was the usual band of musicians, revellers, and lots of children eager to dance round the maypole themselves, with the maypole carried around the village for as long as anyone can remember by Griff.
The Holly Bush well dressing was arguably their best yet, depicting the maypole alongside Milford’s iconic chimney. There were further eye-catching well dressings created by Milford Primary where the annual May Fair was held, following a procession that took in the Recreation Ground, Angelo’s at the New Inn (delicious chips!) and the Social Club.
Once again, there was a collection for Aqua Box which raised over £200. Over the 20 years of supporting Aqua Box, it’s reckoned that nearly £5,000 has been raised.
Thanks to all who donated and those who helped with the day. Here’s to the next 40 years of May Daying!