The Banstead May Queen is an annual event held in the village of Banstead, Surrey, featuring a parade, a crowning ceremony, and a fair.
Ralph James and the Lancasters team joined forces with the event organisers, the Banstead May Queen Group, to host their Prosecco stand.
The May Queen Festival and its associated stalls provide a fun and enjoyable day out for locals and visitors alike, while also supporting local businesses and organizations.
It was great to see some old friends, as well as meet new faces, and thank you to everyone who bought a glass or two, raising money for Beacon School.
Thank you to Ashly, Kelly, Ollie, Katie, Luke and Lizzy for representing Ralph James and supporting our newest community.
History of the May Queen in Banstead.
“Throughout history people have celebrated the coming of summer in May with different customs that express joy and hope after a long winter. Rural English villages have traditionally marked this time of year when warmer weather begins and flowers and trees start to blossom with festivals incorporating May Pole dancing and crowning a May Queen to symbolise the brighter more productive months ahead.
The current Banstead May Queen Group was originally started in 1985 by a dynamic local resident named Pat Bryant. She gathered together a group of parents to form a committee to organise an annual event and raise some money for the local community. Pat felt that a village as old as Banstead which dates back to doomsday would probably have had a May Festival with a May Queen. Pat and her committee could not have realised how popular this would become and how long the group would continue to organise the event.
Each May Queen Group has their own identity shown by the colours they wear. In Banstead the colours chosen by Pat were pink and white to represent the local blossom tress and mint green as Banstead was renowned for its mint. One of the committee members, Mrs Roz Barham, made the original May Queen Attendants dresses and the May Queen’s Cape. Another parent, Carol Fullerlove, taught the children at St Anne’s School how to dance around a May Pole and this tradition still continues today.
Over the last thirty five years the May Fayre has grown and developed into a major annual event for Banstead. We have tried to keep local families and the community as the central focus for our day. As a consequence of the Fayre, we hope to raise awareness and financially benefit a charitable cause. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of all who attend the Fayre and as a result we have been able to support a wide variety of local charities and have donated a total of £175,000 during this time.”
For more event and parade imagery,
there are some great photos of the day over
on the group’s Instagram account, @bansteadmayqueen.