Lottery award for Heritage Centre
Knutsford Heritage Centre has been awarded a grant of £9,165 under the North West Awards 4 All scheme, part of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The grant will fund a major exhibition of past May Queens’ dresses and crowns representing different decades in the long history of Knutsford’s Royal May Day.
The centrepiece of the exhibition will be the dress and crown worn by the May Queen of 1887 (picture to follow), the year in which the May Day was given its ‘Royal’ title by the then Prince & Princess of Wales.
Dating back to 1864, Knutsford’s May Day festival is a highlight of the town’s calendar and takes place on the first Saturday in May, attracting thousands of visitors every year, who come to join in the carnival atmosphere and watch the spectacular procession of children in costume, Morris dancers, brass bands, the Cheshire Wheelmen on antique bicycles, a whole host of characters and finally the Royal May Queen accompanied by foot guards, ladies in waiting, and the crown bearer.
This unique exhibition will offer a beautiful glimpse of past fashions and textiles and, through these exquisite dresses and crowns, will tell the story of this historic event and the part it plays in Knutsford life. The 1887 dress will be on loan to Knutsford Heritage Centre from the Salt Museum, Northwich. Some of the other dresses will be loaned from past May Queens and their families, and come with fascinating recollections of times gone by.
Knutsford’s ‘Royal’ May Day Organisers are also in full support of this project and Chairman Ken Gresty says “We are delighted to hear that the Heritage Centre has been awarded this grant and are now all looking forward to the exhibition”
The exhibition will be open at Knutsford Heritage Centre from Royal May Day Saturday 2nd May 2009 – 25th July 2009 and will be one of the highlight events of the Three Shires Textile Festival (www.textilefestival.com), which runs from 4-19 July 2009.
Knutsford Heritage Centre
View the new interactive Millenium Tapestry