Throughout history people have celebrated the coming of summer in May with different customs that express joy and hope after a long winter. Rural English villages have traditionally marked this time when warmer weather begins and flowers and trees begin to blossom with festivals incorporating May Pole dancing and crowning a May Queen to symbolise the brighter more productive months ahead.
The current Banstead May Queen Group was originally started in 1985 by a dynamic local resident Pat Bryant. She gathered together a group of parents to form a committee to organise an annual event and raise some money for the local community. Pat felt that a village as old as Banstead which dates back to Doomsday would probably have had a May festival with a May Queen. Pat and her committee could not have realised how popular this would become and how long the group would be sustained .
Each May Queen Group has their own identity shown by the colours they wear. In Banstead the colours chosen by Pat were Pink and White to represent the local blossom trees and Mint Green as Banstead was renown for its mint. One of the committee members Mrs Roz Barham made the original May Queen attendants dresses and the May Queen cape. Another parent Carol Fullerlove taught the children at St Anne’s how to dance around a May Pole and this tradition still continues today.
The first May Queen was Victoria Searchfield pictured just below just after being crowned by the Rev Tom New . That initial Fayre raised £34.35 for the Brownies . Over the last 35 years the May Fayre has grown and developed into a major annual event for the village. We have tried to keep local families and the community as the central focus for our day. As a consequence of the Fayre we hope to raise awareness and financially benefit a charitable cause . We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of all those who attend the Fayre and as a result we have been able to support a wide variety of local charities and have donated a total of £170,000 during this time. This is a remarkable achievement for a group of mums and dads with little experience who work together to give Banstead a truly remarkable day and support a local charity.
The current committee would like to thank all our sponsors and helpers over the years. We are very grateful for your continued support which enables us to run this event. We would also like to thank the past May Queens on the day of the Fayre. We wish them all the best for the future and thank them for supporting our special 35th Anniversary Day.