MOBBERLEY ROSE QUEEN FESTIVAL
How it all began...
Lily Green was a 15 year old telegraph girl at the old Mobberley Post Office on the corner of Mill Lane when she came across a group of girls crying because they couldn't go to the Knutsford May Day. She decided there and then that Mobberley should have its own festival. The children met each week to learn dances with the older children standing around singing. Mothers promised to give them cakes and jellies for the tea. Mrs Hulme from the Post office lent her best rush seated chair for the throne and Mrs Allen of Holt House agreed the loan of the Mission Hall for a fee of 2/6d. The Queen, nine year old Mary Richards, was chosen because her mother would allow her to wear her Sunday best dress and hair bows on a Saturday.
The chosen day, Saturday May 27th 1922, arrived and was warm and sunny. The procession assembled at the Mission Hall on Hall Bank and proceeded along Town Lane, down Smith Lane, along Hobcroft Lane, past the Church and the cricket ground where the players came to the fence and threw money into the collection boxes. The music for the dancing was supplied by Mr Saxon pushing his gramophone in a wheel-barrow. Finally the procession arrived back at Hall Bank where the crowning ceremony, performed by Arthur Mongham, took place before a large crowd of villagers.
The crowd were entertained with dances before a wonderful tea, prepared by Mrs Saxon and Mrs Eyres, was served in the Mission Hall. After tea the procession re-formed and went to New Hall, as Mrs Barclay ahd promised a 10/- note if the children would dance on the lawn for their family and friends. Nearly £6 had been collected and the money was given to Mrs Carver from the Old Hall who had purchased three stone torughs for the War Memorial.
As the Festival had been such a success, a group of ladies from the village, led by Mrs Carver, took over the orgainsation of the event. Lily Green continued to be involved for the next two years taking part in the Morris and Sword dances. Lily continues to be remembered through the Rpse Queen Festival and having a House named after her at Mobberley Primary School.
A newspaper article of June 1972 has a Mrs L. Hatton’s (Lily Green) memories of the first festival:-
“It doesn’t seem fifty years since six schoolgirls met in Barnfields near the old Post Office and decided to have a May Day for the younger children. The Queen was chosen because her mother would let her wear her best dress and hair bows on Saturdays. We met each week and the children learned little dances, with the older children standing round singing. Mothers promised to give cakes and jellies etc. for a tea, and we went to Mrs Allan of Holt House for the loan of the Mission Hall for a fee of 2s.6d. and we had to leave it in the same clean condition in which we had found it.
At last the great day arrived and we started from Hall Bank, through Town Lane, Smith Lane to Hobcroft Lane near Rathlin. We met the Rev. G.C. Dicker, who hoped we had all learnt the Collect for the next day, but who could think of Collects when your head was full of fun and bun tea!
On we went past the cricket field and the players came to the fence and threw money to us. At last, back to Hall Bank, with the crowning and dancing and a wonderful tea. Later we all reformed and went to the New Hall and danced for the Barclay family. We had collected £5 and the money was handed over to Mrs Carver of the Old Hall who purchased three stone troughs for the War Memorial.
We remember all the old friends who helped us to have such a happy day. Mr Eyres and Percy Smith who carried all the water for the tea from Spout Lane; Mrs Saxon and Mrs Eyres who made that lovely tea; Mr Saxon who wheeled his gramophone in a barrow from Town Lane;Mrs Hulme from the Post office who lent her best rush seated armchair for the throne; Mr Billy Jackson who sent the first account to the Knutsford Guardian, and Mr Hunt, our policeman, who said we must not beg again without a permit from him.
There were many more friends in the village who helped. It’s nice to look back now and see such a great day from little beginnings.”
In 1960 when the festival was restarted (see article below) the event took place on the Victory Hall field where it stayed until 1973 when it moved to the Old Hall courtesy of Mrs Wilkinson who became President.
In 2003 Mrs Wilkinson was tragically killed and the Old Hall was sold forcing the Rose Queen Festival to find another new home and in 2004 the event moved almost full circle to the Hall Bank Playing Field
The Rose Queen Festival was restarted in 1960 having last been held in 1939
Shirley Boughey elected in 1960
Barbara Wilson 1961
Rosamond Naylor elected in 1962
Susan Cordwell 1963
Jean Higginson 1964
Pauline Lofthouse 1965
Joy Sherratt 1966
Lesley Armitt 1967
Susan Acton 1968
Susan Blackburn in 1969
Julie Parmenter & John Hague 1970
Wendy Gittins 1971
Jane Eyre 1972
Dianne Norbury and Peter Brown 1973
Susan Barber and Jonathan Barber 1974
Helen Mountney 1975
Angela Parry& Richard Mountney 1976
Ann Caveney and Kenneth Norbury 1977
Susan Helen Lockett and Kevan Warburton 1978
Paula Conroy 1979
Janet Gregory and Keith Lofthouse 1980
Maxine Bird and Graham Sutton 1981
Dawn Williams and Ian Smith 1982
Gilliam Evans and Howard Neville 1983
Helen Parry 1984
Kate Russell and Matthew Buxton 1985
Sharon Light and Alex Grierson 1986
Zoe Milburn and Ian Higginson 1987
Joanne Lee and Richard Warburton 1988
Jenny Grierson and James Dennison 1989
Philippa Neville and James Cartner 1990
Bindu Armitt and Matthew Treadway 1991
Heather Runciman and Simon Robins 1992
Elizabeth Evans and Ian Norbury 1993
Olivia Armitage and Matthew Denham 1994
Kelly Donnelly and Scott Parker 1995
Kirsten Robbins and Jonathan Broadhurst 1996
Jessie MacLeod 1997
Amy Norbury 1998
Hannah Atkinson 1999
Lucy Spilsbury 2000
Sarah Knowles 2001
Claire Howard 2002
Rebecca Welfle 2003
Alex Stott 2004
Jessica Britland 2005
Jenny Eadie 2006
Sophie Roberts 2007
Georgia Curbishley 2008
Sarah Foord 2009
Victoria Britland 2010
Katrina Sawyer 2011
Grave Hasleden 2012
Gabriella Marfani 2013
Daisy Fogg 2014
Lexie McIntosh 2015
Amelia Thomas-Wade 2016
Maisie Purcell 2017
Annie Barker 2018
In 2012 a newspaper was produced to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the first parade held on Whit Sunday 1922. Much of the research was carried out by Astrid Dean, a descendent of Lily Green. This involved interviewing some of the oldest surviving participants, and researching the local papers from the early years. These are the notes from some of those interviews and articles.