Bootle May Queen, 1931

Children dressed up in costume

May Queen Edna May Fairweather with her retinue

29 Apr 2016 - 12 Jun 2016
Free exhibition, no booking required

This former display of a May Queen costume, crown, original programme and photographs showcased Bootle’s once popular May Day demonstration festival, first held in 1899.

10 year old Edna May Fairweather was crowned May Queen at the pageant in South Park, Bootle on 6 June 1931. She wore this fabulous dress, cloak and crown for the occasion.

Traditionally the May Queen symbolises the May Day holiday, and spring and summer time. The Queen presides over the event and it is her duty to begin the celebrations.

Edna lived with her family in Aintree Road, Bootle and it is believed that her mother, Nancy may have made the cloak. The following year Edna acted as Dowager Queen to the newly crowned May Queen.

Edna later went on to work in Litherland as a housing officer.

The outfit, photographs and booklet were proudly kept by the family and discovered in Edna's mother's house after her death. They were kindly donated to the Museum of Liverpool by Edna’s niece in 2014.

"The Crowning Ceremony has been a spectacle which has never waned and has succeeded in drawing people from near and far." Councillor Walter Carter Scott, 1931