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The Fernhurst Society

Tales from the Archives - 6

Jubilee celebrations in 1935

In 1935 the country celebrated the Silver Jubilee of King George V.  Fernhurst marked the occasion by giving the Revels a topical twist.  There was the usual crowning of the May Queen on the Green followed by maypole dancing, but there was also a choir and orchestra and ‘Ann Wilson Collins’ bravely recited her lines and released a silver balloon’.  A framed copy of the May Day Poem, which is still recited every year, beautifully handwritten and surrounded with delightful watercolour paintings of flowers, animals, birds etc by notable local artist Reg Gammon, was presented to the May Queen, Joy Berry. 

Mrs Dickinson of Hawksfold planted an oak tree on the Green watched by the May Queen and her attendants and many village dignitaries. Tea was served to the children in Glebe Barn and in three tents to the whole community and they also listened to the King’s speech.

In the evening the huge beacon at Blackdown, built and guarded by the Fernhurst Scouts was lit by them, under the supervision of Mr G Dudman, GSM.  A large number of people watched the flames and enjoyed the panoramic view of the many other beacons from the summit of the highest hill in Sussex.

For many the Jubilee will be extra special having seen King George and Queen Mary drive through the village in 1928 on their way to Bognor for the king’s convalescence from a serious illness.  One bystander said ‘How thrilled we were when the royal car slowed down and the king and queen waved to us and smiled!  How we cheered!’

If you would like to know more about this story, or research other local topics, the Archive is open on Tuesdays, 2.30-5pm in the Village Hall. Other times by arrangement.

Christine Maynard
Fernhurst Archive

One of a series of short articles bringing you some of the incidents from our rich village history. Collated by Christine Maynard, based on documents preserved at the Fernhurst Archives, these originally were published in the monthly Fernhurst News.

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