Maypole History
Wellow Village | Nottinghamshire
History of the Wellow Maypole
The   existence   of   the   Wellow   Maypole   can   be   traced   as   far   back   as   1856   and   on   the   9th   of   May 1860,   a   new   pole   had   to   be   erected   as   the   old   one   had   been   sawn   down   during   a   drunken   spree   a few   weeks   earlier.   To   commemorate   Queen   Victoria's   Jubilee   in   1887,   a   new   pole   was   given   by Sir   John   Savile,   which   had   three   cross   pieces   near   its   summit,   painted   spiral   decoration   and   a seat   around   the   base.   In   1923,   Lord   Savile   replaced   the   Jubilee   Maypole.   This   pole   lasted   until 1937   when   it   was   deemed   to   be   unsafe   and   was   cut   down   from   60ft   to   20ft.   In   1949,   this   pole   was finally   chopped   down   for   safety   reasons   and   in   1950   a   new   pole   was   bought   from   Rufford   Estates. At   this   time   a   Maypole   Committee   was   formed   to   carry   on   the   tradition   and   organise   the   annual event. The 1950 pole lasted until 1966 when it was damaged by a storm, and was taken down and sold for firewood. Another   pole   of   larch   was   obtained   from   Thoresby   Estate   but   on   finding   it   had   not been   seasoned   properly,   it   was   declared   unsafe   and   in   1976   was   chopped   down   to half   size.   That   year   the   dancing   took   place   around   the   reduced   pole.   Later   in   1976 the   remainder   of   the   pole   was   taken   down,   and   in   1977   with   the   help   of   a   heritage grant,   a   three   section   tubular   steel   pole   was   purchased   from Abacus   Engineering   of Sutton   in Ashfield.   The   present   pole   is   decorated   with   three   cross   pieces   with   metal crown   shapes   at   each   end,   and   surmounting   the   pole   is   a   weathervane   made   by   a local engineer. In   November   2010   corrosion   concerns   resulted   in   its   removal,   to   be   replaced   in   March   2011   by   another   steel   pole   17 metres   high. The   original   weathervane   and   cockerel   have   been   renovated   and   replaced,   together   with   new   cross-pieces and   crowns.   Look   closely   and   you   will   see   that   the   new   maypole   has   18   sides   and   is   therefore   believed   to   be   unique among   the   70   or   so   permanent   maypoles   in   the   country.      Wellow   is   one   of   only   a   handful   where   ribbon   dancing   around the maypole still takes place.
Wellow Village
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