Ancient traditions given a new spin...

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It’s an ancient festival with a rich tradition, and the May Day celebrations are still alive and kicking in Lancashire.

Preston youngsters put on their best clothes and marked the springtime festival in style yesterday.

Flower power:  May Queen celebrations at Middleforth Primary in Penwortham

Flower power: May Queen celebrations at Middleforth Primary in Penwortham

May Day royalty lined up in style at Middleforth CE School in Penwortham where the school has long kept up the tradition of crowning a May Queen.

Every year the year two pupils at the Hill Road South school vote for and crown their May Queen at two special celebrations.

The event, which also includes May Princes and a crown bearer, also sees previous Queens lining up.

The girls and boys dress up for the occasion and invite parents in to watch the crowning ceremony and see the children dancing around the Maypole.

This year’s Queen is Lola Urey, seven, attended by seven-year-old Alfie Newsham and the crown bearer – four- year-old Logan Taylor.

Meanwhile in Fulwood, children at St Pius X Preparatory School have been busy practising their Maypole dancing.

And standing by with plenty of encouragement is maths teacher Mike Adams who is responsible for training the pupils in the convoluted dances.

Mr Adams began teaching the traditional skill about seven years ago at the Garstang Road school.

He was inspired to do it after the Maypole was donated by the parents’ society.

He said: “I think I was inspired when I saw a Maypole at a folk festival and thought the colour and dance might translate well into a junior school activity.

“One of my own earliest memories of junior school was dancing around a Maypole and I know a number of our older members of staff have similar recollections.”

Mr Adams teaches Maypole dancing to year five girls, sticking to three dances, all taken from the English Folk Dance Society book.