Visitors basked in the sunshine at the annual May Day celebrations on Eaton Socon Village Green on Monday.
Hundreds of people attended the event, organised by the Eatons Community Association, to watch some traditional maypole dancing from Bushmead School pupils; sweeps and folk dances by dance group Heartsease, twirling by The Sentinels majorettes, dancing from Langdale Dance Arts and SJ School of Dance; line-dancing by St Neots U3A, dancing and singing from the Riverside Theatre as well as live music, which included Jamie Gilman-Lewis and Rumour Has It.
There was also a barbecue, raffle, stalls, fairground rides and a dragonboat refreshments were served at St Mary’s Church.
Heartsease led the May court procession to the arena and Alicia Ferguson, last year’s May Queen, then presented the crown and sash to the new May Queen, Ella Webb, who was escorted by the two princesses, Phillippa Laundon and Sophie Hills.
Town mayor, Derek Giles, presented the retiring May Queen with a framed photograph and Ella gave her a necklace, donated by a committee member. At 3pm, the Eatons Community Cup was presented by the May Queen to Ivan Hewlett, chairman of the Riverside Miniature Railway, who has spent many hours developing the railway. The railway has grown considerably and is now a well-known community asset at the Riverside Park.
An open weekend will be held on May 19/20 when trains will be run on a newly extended track.
Sue Jarrett said: “We are delighted to be able to award the Eatons Community Cup to such a hard working group who have spent many hours developing such an exciting venture and know it will be a wonderful asset for the community.”
The annual local history exhibition was held at St Mary’s Church, with four local history exhibitions. The largest focussed on The Great North Road and how it has affected both the village of Eaton Socon and Eaton Socon Parish – the benefits the road has brought and the vast changes when the A1 bypass was built. A second display focussed on Bushmead Secondary School – the first secondary school built in the area, opening in February, 1958.
The third display featured the proposed Poppy Trail to identify and recognise all Commonwealth war graves in the town with a poppy. Finally, a small display about pubs 40 years ago showed how pubs had changed in the Eatons and parts of St Neots.
“Two of our founder members, George and Daisy Seager, whose memorial service was held last weekend in St Neots, would have been proud to see so many groups involved with this community event and we are all looking forward to next year’s May Day when we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary,” added Mrs Jarrett.