Bootle’s May Queen

A TRADITIONAL May Queen costume is to be displayed at the Museum of Liverpool. The white floral dress and elaborate cloak, worn by Edna May Fairweather in 1931 when she was crowned Bootle’s May Queen, will go on display on 29 April until 12 June. The special display also features the May Queen crown, original programme and photographs, to showcase Bootle’s once popular May Day Demonstration festival, first held in 1899. Kay Jones, Curator of Urban History said: “85 years on from when it was first worn by Edna, it’s wonderful to display her fabulous outfit, along with the original programme and photographs from the event which show what an incredibly special day it must have been for her. “It will give visitors the chance to see what a traditional May Queen ceremony entailed and maybe even bring back happy memories of their own May Day celebrations.” Edna was crowned May Queen when she was only 10 years old. The pageant took place in South Park, Bootle, 6 June 1931. She wore the beautiful white dress, cloak and crown for the occasion. 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. 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 May Queen is a young girl chosen and crowned in a traditional May Day celebration. The May Queen symbolises the May Day Holiday, and spring and summer time, with the Queen presiding over the event and marking the beginning of the celebrations.