Tag Archives: 1925

May Queen in 1925

Norwood News – Tuesday 5th May 1925, page 1

MITCHAM’S MAY QUEEN

PICTURESQUE CEREMONY ON THE CRICKET GREEN

Another attempt has been made to establish a Mitcham May Queen festival on the cricket green. The idea is to make it an annual affair. Success again attended the effort on Saturday.

Mrs. Coun. H. M. Hallowes, the chairman of the local council, attended, and gave the festival her blessing. She thanked the promoters for their determination to make the crowning of the May Queen a hardy annual on the Cricket Green at Mitcham, and promised them all the support and encouragement within her power. She favoured the festival because of the happiness and training it brought into the lives of the children.

The festival really emanates from the Brownies and Young Guides. Miss Law as the captain taking the lead, and it is to her chiefly, assisted by Mrs. Jolly and others, that the May celebration takes place.

Nearly a hundred Mitcham children took part, the girls being dressed in white with white shoes or sandals, and wore wreaths of flowers. The boys appeared in costumes representing archers, heralds, or farmers.

PROCESSION

A public procession through the main roads of Mitcham was watched with admiration by crowds of people. Everybody agreed it was a pleasing sight, and the children looked pretty. Fortunately, the rain kept off and did not mar their pleasure, or inconvenience them.

On arrival the Cricket Green, a public performance of crowning the May Queen was gone through with all the pomp and splendour associated with the old-time custom. Connie Wells, aged 12, made a very dainty May Queon, and in her canopy of floral boughs, she was crowned “Queen of the May,” by Irene Jones, a typical representation of Prince Charming.

OTHER CHARACTERS.

Other characters, suitably attired were the following :-

Trainbearers. — Winnie Wells, Barbara Oakes.

Maids of Honour. — Peggy Turner, Chriasie Keeffe, Margaret Mugridge, Gladys Sykes.

Pages. — Gwennie Jarman,Gracie Bishop, Peggy Scott, Peggy Carlton.

Prince. — Irene Jones.

Heralds. – Allan Millbank, Douglas Jolley.

Crown Bearer. — May Thomson.

Fairy Queen.- Gladys Siviour.

Fairies.— Reta Ashford, Gwennie Siviour, Doris Cox, Ruby Roberts, Sylvia Roberts, Lily Sutcliffe.

BO-Peep.- Gladys Pelling.

Shepherdess. — Pattie Ashforth.

Robin Hood. — Dora Croucher.

Archer. — Geoffrey Jolley.

Columbine. — Mona Watts.

Cupids. — Connie and Sybil Cordier.

Lavender Girls. — Florrie Wells, Girlie Downey.

Maypole Dancers. — Elsie Smith, Maisie Ware, Doris Melhuish, Ivy Sanders, Ivy Warren, Elsie Vagille, Amy Nightingale, Georgina Miles, Margaret Fleckney, Lily Fleckney, Winnie Osbourne, Marie Sayers.

Country Girls. — Daisy Miles, Irene Ault, Ivy Graham, Dolly Sullivan, Marjorie Morris, Ivy Sergeant, Gertie Read, Edith Poulton.

Ballet Dancers.— D. Boreham, B. King, P. Longhurst, M. Douglas, E. Douglas, G. Bennett, V. Morgan, J. Douglas, M. Watts, S. Jolley, R. Palmer.

REVELRIES

The new Queen, duly enthroned, thanked her subjects, and then the revelries began. First, flower strewing, then country dances, and the singing of “Come lassies and lads.”

Woodland ballets and dances by pupils of Miss Ruby May were very smartly done, and earned unstinted applause from the crowd. Taking part in a country dance were D. Boreham, B. King, P. Longhurst, M. Douglas, E. Douglas, G. Bennett, V. Morgan and J. Douglas.

A solo “Fragrance,” by M. Watts; picture gavotte by M. Watts and S. Jolley; solo, D. Boreham; Irish Jig, E. Douglas; dance of the midsummer fairies, M. Douglas, D. Boreham, B. King and M. Watts; solo, M. Douglas; Scotch reel, J. Douglas, chain dance, M. Watts, B. King, D. Boreham and M. Douglas; Welsh dance, D. Boreham and M. Douglas; Welsh dance, R. Palmer; Sailor’s hornpipe, B. King; and characteristic, D. Boreham and M. Douglas; all these efforts delighted the onlookers, and they were well performed by the children, reflecting great credit on their tutors.

Maypole and Morris dancing was also a feature of an interesting programme. The Tooting Wesleyan Central Hall Brass Band, under Mr W.D. Woodcraft, rendered capital music.

In every way, the festival triumphed, and too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the leaders for the amount of labour they must have put into it.

St Peter & St Paul Roman Catholic Primary School

School whose address is Cricket Green, Mitcham, CR4 4LA. Its entrance from that road is between the Mary Tate Almshouses and number 40.

1954 OS map

The road had previously been called Lower Green East until 1944, when it was renamed Cricket Green.

According to 1 The Cricket Green, page 113 :

The Roman Catholic primary school St Peter and St Paul was rebuilt in 1974, replacing the original chapel school building erected in 1861 on land given by William Simpson Jr.

This OS map from 1910 shows the outline of the school building, its entrance being between the Almshouses and the Britannia pub shown as P.H.

1910 OS map

Kelly and Post Office directories from the late 19th and early 20th centuries state that the school was probably built around 1867, for 80 children. It’s worth noting that the Catholic church was built later than the school, in 1889. The directory of 1912 said that the school was enlarged in 1897, for 148 children, and had an average attendance of 123. The 1912 directory said that the school was enlarged again in 1908 for 180 children. Also in that directory was a list of the six school managers, and their clerk:

James Douglas DREWETT, Ravensbury, Upper Green, Mitcham
Bernard HAYWARD, Post office, London Road, Mitcham
Rev. Bernard W. KELLY, St. Anthony’s Hospital, London Road, North Cheam
Berrill Henry MAGUIRE, The Beeches, London Road, Lower Mitcham
Rev. Joshua POOLEY, The Presbytery, Cranmer Road, Mitcham
William F. J. SIMPSON, Park place, Commonside West, Mitcham

Clerk to Managers, William James DICKISSON, Trent House, 87 Melrose Avenue, Mitcham

The directories also gave the head mistress in charge of the school, as shown in this table, where the years are the directory entries.

YEARS Name
1874 and 1878 Miss Mary A. PARKS
1880 Miss Mary CONWAY
1891 Miss Mary Ann RIGBY
1896 Miss Elizabeth BRYCE
1898, 1901 and 1902 Miss DAWSON
1911, 1912, 1913 and 1915 Miss Annie DERHAM
1918 Miss Elizabeth DAVEY

Miss Davey started teaching in 1887, according to this news article from 1933 which reported on her retiring from head mistress.

A WORTHY TEACHER

Miss Davey, the esteemed head mistress of Mitcham Catholic Day School, is retiring to well-merited leisure after 46 years of teaching. She has put the best years and the best efforts of her life into this school, and she has the consolation of knowing that she has not spent herself in vain. When she leaves at the end of February she will take with her the united good wishes of the priest, the parents, and the children for her devoted service.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th January, 1933, page 1.


The name of the school in the directories was either the Lower Mitcham Catholic School, or the Mitcham Catholic Day School as in the 1933 news item.

Listed in the 1971 phone book as S.S. Peter & Paul R.C. Primary, Cricket Green, telephone 01-648 1459.


Merton Memories Photos

Catholic chapel that was demolished when school was rebuilt in 1974
1970 school playground
undated colour photo of school from Cricket Green

Eric Montague Slides
A 1966 photo of the Sheila Shaw horse riding school, at number 40 next door to the Catholic school, shows part of the entrance and its notice board, that is headed ‘Ss Peter & Paul’s Catholic School’.


Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.