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
The Wellow Village History Website