Have your say

What does the maypole mean to you?

Whether you are a local or a visitor, a mention of the Barwick maypole festival will often invoke fond memories (some dating back many decades!). What does the maypole mean to you? What memories do you have? Would you like to share your experiences?

If so, we’d love you hear what you have to say… simply complete the comments box below. And don’t worry if you’ve never even visited the village… we’d still love to know what you think about this curious and intruiging Yorkshire tradition.

We’d also like to hear what you think about this site. If you have any feedback, ideas or suggestions as to how we might improve things, please let us know. All suggestions are welcome (we can’t incorporate your ideas unless we know about them!). Please note that (to prevent inappropriate or spam entries) all comments will need to be approved by a member of the maypole commitee prior to publishing.

One Response to Have your say

  • Victoria Crabtree says:


    My name is Victoria Crabtree and I was the Maypole Queen when I was 11 years old. I am now 36, so some time around 1986 I stood on All Tower hill in the sunshine on a Monday afternoon and delivered my speech to the massive sea of faces, all their eyes trained on me. Scary!

    My strongest memory of the day was that of my father Norman giving me a shot of ‘Dutch courage’ on my way out of the front door of our farm house, I must admit it did calm the shaking and take away some of the sick feeling from the nerves.

    My mother attached new white swans down around the crown that year and my sister Debbie, Barwicks local hairdresser did my hair. I remember hearing the rumbling of the two biggest tractors we had at the time, Massey Ferguson 1200’s being fired up by my older brother Howard on the yard, the two big red monsters all dressed up by the local children in their muliti coloured paper rosettes ready to join in with the procession.

    The Queen’s float provided and driven as always by our local Milkman Mr Atkinson made its way down Main Street as I waved to all the faces I knew so well, people who had been around me as I grew up . Mr & Mrs Pollard and Mr & Mrs Boocock from the post office and news agent who sold me my penny sweets and chocolate bars every Saturday morning when mum took us up to Barwick for the Saturday morning paper . Mr Tillotson from the electrical shop and Mrs Chippendale from the green grocers, along with the lovely ladies from barwick choir where I sang myself -Mrs Nottingham, Mrs Matthewson and Mrs Knight (some of who still sing there now!) all waving back enjoying the day to the full as always .Maypole day always makes me reminisce about how barwick used to be when you could do your weekly shop on main street and everybody knew everybody ,and now I hope the Maypole celebrations can help to bring the village together in our more modern day lifestyle filled with commuting and supermarkets .

    Our family has always loved the tradition of Maypole Day my mother Jennifer (then Nutton) was maid of honour in her day as was my elder sister Susan, my brother Philip was an equerry and both he and Howard have been lucky to have driven our tractors and trailers in the procession many times. My cousin David Crabtree and long term friend of the family Simon Walker have climbed the pole for years between them, risking life and limb to spin that fox and bring their fellow barwicker’s another three years good luck. Both would sometimes bring my sister Debbie and myself a bell down as a keepsake.

    My family and I would like to say ‘best of luck’ to Chris with his climb this year its great to see another of the local farming fraternity upholding the tradition and I can promise when he’s up there one of the loudest cheers from below will be from me!

    This year I have had the pleasure of a house-visit from the new garlands as I have finally come back to live ,along with my fiancé Dave and my lovely daughter Adelle, in my beloved Barwick ,we couldn’t resist but take a photo of the men and their garlands disappearing back up the hill- much to their embarrassment!

    I managed to grab a bell from the old garlands when I attended the Maypole lowering 3 weeks ago and I hope to find a way of getting my hands on a new one, as my husband to be, Dave who is an artist has promised to work on a painting for me of the pole with our much loved local ‘The Black Swan ‘ in the background. The plan is to then hang the bells, old and new, inside the frame with the year 2011 above .This would live above our fireplace and mark the year we came back to, and got married in -Barwick. A special year indeed .Long live the Maypole Festival, here’s hoping we get good weather; see you all there on Monday!


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Barwick Beer Festival

The next Barwick Beer Festival is on Saturday 17th October 2015.
Please click here for more details.

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