Bootle’s May Queen

2 May 2016 by Laura

Girl in white dress

Edna May Fairweather, 1931

You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear;
To-morrow ’ll be the happiest time of all the glad new-year,—
Of all the glad new-year, mother, the maddest, merriest day;
For I ’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I ’m to be Queen o’ the May.

From ‘The May Queen’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I can only imagine the excitement of 10 year old Edna May Fairweather the night before she was crowned May Queen.

Fabric of cloak

Detail of the handmade cloak. The flowers are individually painted

Her costume was lovingly handmade, probably by her mother. The flowers are individually painted and 85 years after it was worn, they are still beautifully vivid.

The white floral dress and elaborate cloak, worn by Edna in 1931 when she was crowned Bootle’s May Queen, join a new display at Museum of Liverpool until 12 June.

Also featured are the May Queen crown, original programme and photographs of Bootle’s once popular May Day Demonstration festival, first held in 1899.


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