Click here for the Glossary page
Click here for the main index of the Burton Latimer Heritage Society site
Click here to return to the previous page

John Meads 2010
Parade Days 1934-40

Megan White, Burton's first Queen in 1934

Seen here in 1934 is Burton's first queen Megan White (in the centre), with her attendants
Phyllis Buckby, Rene Cook, Gwen Fox and Ruby Payne

The Gala parade passing the Dukes Arms in 1935 or 1936
This photograph, taken near the Duke's Arms in the High Street looking south, shows the great
crowds that used to turn out to watch the parade go by. With the exception of the Duke's
Arms, all the buildings seen in this picture have now disappeared. The year is 1935 or 1936.

This St John Ambulance parade float is the second motor seen in the larger
photograph above. The two above show the front and the back ends of the
Burton Latimer St. John Ambulance Nursing Division entry

Thornloe & Clarkson's Gala entry, mid 1930s
An early Gala entry at the Recreation Ground by employees of Thorneloe & Clarkson, makers of
'Beau Brummel' clothing at their factory in Alexandra Street. 1st left is Louie Stokes, 3rd is Eva
Fennell, 4th Florence Clipson (later Mrs John Smith), 6th is Rhoda Toop and 7th Frank Toop.
2nd from right is Lil Humphries. Factory manager Bob Chamberlain is seated in the middle.

Sadly, Hilda Byland's fiancee died after the selection dance
After this Northampton Mercury photo was taken she
stood down as 1935 Queen, Irene Cook taking her place

Irene Cooke and her attendants in 1935

Irene Cooke - Hospital Carnival Queen - 1935. On the float: first left is Joan Buckby then
Philip Quincey, Roger Saddington, Sheila Daniels, John Baish, the Queen Rene Cooke, Ruby Payne,
Freda Coles. No names have been given for the back row of the schoolchildren. In the second
row are …………? Kath Dams, …………? …………? …………? Front row Sheila Fennell, Eileen Rickards,
Kath Dent, …………? …………? Pam Cooke.

Audrey Mason the Queen in 1936

The 1936 Hospital Gala Queen Audrey Mason. L-R: Eileen Spanton, Mary Wright, the queen
Audrey Mason, Flora Reed, May Evans, Jean Olerenshaw. The young attendants are Philip
Quincey, Roger Saddington and Billy Hickman. Betty Loak and Ivan Cox are on the grass.
Audrey also had the distinction of being chosen as the Kettering Carnival Queen

Mary Wright the 1937 Queen with her attendants
The 1937 Gala Queen Mary Wright in the centre with her attendants L-R: Gladys Conquest,
Kathleen Capps, Mary Wright, May Evans and Jean Olorenshaw.
The children are Betty Loak and Ivan Cox.

Audrey Larratt Carnival Queen 1938 1938 Carnival Queen contestants.
Audrey Larratt
Hospital Carnival Queen 1938
The contestants in the competition held in April 1938 to become Hospital
Carnival Queen. Standing: Gladys Conquest (Maid of Honour) and Phyllis
Meadows (Deputy Queen) Seated: Sylvia Conroy (Maid of Honour), Margaret
Groom (Maid of Honour) and Audrey Larratt (Queen)

This is how the Northampton Mercury reported the occasion

In 1939, as a departure from the traditional Gala Queen selection contest, the Gala Committee decided that it would be appropriate to chose girls to represent the various industries of the town. Below are pictures from the Evening Telegraph. The first one was taken at the crowning on 28th June and the other was taken on Saturday 15th July, the day of the parade.

The crowning of the Trades Queens in 1939 The 1939 Trades Queens
The crowning of Burton Latimer's Trade
Queens in 1939 by Mrs A. Timpson (Kettering)
Burton Latimer's Trade Queens L-R: Sylvia Johnson (Shoe & leather
Trades Queen, Rosie Johnson (Other trades Queen) and Sylvia
Conroy (Clothing trades Queen)


From the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph July 17th. 1939

Robin Hood's Men Take Toll in Good Cause.


"ONE OF THE BEST EVER" was how a spectator described Burton Latimer's Gala Day on Saturday.

The showery weather of the morning and the ominous thought that it was St Swithin's Day both alike failed to dampen enthusiasm, and large crowds lined the streets through which the parade passed on its way to the Recreation Ground. One of the chief features of interest was the tableau, "Robin Hood and his Merry Men," entered by employees of Messrs, C Wicksteed and Co., Ltd., Kettering. These entrants have attracted a good deal of attention at other galas in the district thisyear, if only because, like the original Robin Hood, they adopt the motto of "robbery in a good cause, to wit, the hospitals. To encourage donations they take round with them a pair of stocks from which willing or maybe unwilling) victims must pay a ransom of coins before release At Burton all was/good humoured and the victims, among whom the fair sex seemed to be in a majority, appeared thoroughly to enjoy the new view of the world they secured from the lorry, while seated imprisoned by the ankles in the instrument of punishment of by-gone days.
Many other entries in the parade bore witness to the fact that the spirit of carnival is far from being dead, while notably attractive was the tableau bearing in state the three trade "queens" of Burton Latimer, Miss Sylvia Johnson leather trade) Miss Sylvia Conroy (clothing), and Miss Rose Johnson (other trades). In a following car rode Miss Audrey Larratt, last year's Carnival Queen.
Local organisations, as well as entrants, helped to swell a long and colourful parade, which was headed by Finedon Old Prize Band.


An exceptionally large crowd attended the sports which were held in the Recreation Ground during the evening. Here notable features were a tug-o'-war, a hose cart competition for fire brigades, and a display of gymnastics by pupils of the Church of England School, in which the pupils under the direction of their headmaster (Mr. J. Dunn) carried out many clever feats such as diving head first through a hoop and somersaulting as they reached the ground. Later as dusk fell the out-of-door activeties ended with a torchlight procession in which many joined. Dancing followed at the Conservative Club to the music of the Ambassadors' Band.

The parade results were: Characteristic get-up, with prams, cycles or scooters (children under 10), 1 June Wood, Holiday Making. 2 Ivan Wilson, Cowboy (mounted), 3 Paul Villette, Balloon Man: Get-up without prams, etc. children under 10, Burton only 1 Herbert Clews Indian Chief. 2 Mary Wittering and Betty Loak, Crinoline Maids, 3 David Hull, Clown. Get-up with prams, cycles or scooters (girls or boys under 16). 1 Trevor Tiney (Woodford), Pride of Holland: 2 Tony Knowles (Finedon), Red Indian In Canoe 3 Shirley Tiney (Woodford) Falry on the Moon; Get-up without prams, etc. (girls or boys under 16), 1 Harry Johnson, Ice Hockey Player, 2 Brenda Whiteman, Squaw: 3 Monica Hetherington, The Whip: Fancy or characteristic group (children under 16, 1 Thelma Morris and party (Burton), Pretty Pollies, 2 Burton Latimer Council Infants' School Jack Frost and his court 3 Burton Latimer Council Infants School Dame Durden's Shoe: Fancy or characteristic get-up, gentlemen 1 Mr. F. Whiteman (Burton). Beau Nash (Founder of Bath Hospital, 18th century) Fancy or characteristic get-up (ladies), 1 Miss Mary Attewell (Wellingborough), Marie Antoinette, 2 Miss Jean Whiteman (Burton Latimer) Eros, Old Piccadilly Circus. London, 3 Mrs. P. Branaghan (Burton), Wash Woman; Fancy or characteristic group, 1 C. Wicksteed and Co. (Kettering), Robin Hood and his Merry Men, 2 Ideal Clothiers (Burton) Cleopatra and Slaves, 3 Messrs, Wilson and Watson, Ltd. (Kettering), Dutch Scene, 4 Miss Maidwyn Baker and party (Burton) Deep Purple; Company turn-out. Boys Brigade, Girl Guides, Scouts, Cubs, etc.. 1 1st Finedon St Mary's Boy Scouts Group, 2 1st Burton Latimer Company The Boys' Brigade; Bugie Band Boys' Brigade. Scouts, etc.. 1 1st Higham Ferrers Company The Boys Bri gade. 2 1st Finedon Rovers' Band, 3 1st Burton Latimer Company The Boys Brigade: Decorated House, 1 Miss M. Mason, 22, William St., 2 Mrs. Mason, 12. Alexandra-street; Decorated Houses (two or more), 1 Mrs Aubrey 6,8 and10, Alexandra-street.


The sports results were:_ Fire hose competition, Higham Ferrers (39 2-5 secs.1. Raunds (43 2-5 2. London Brick Co. (44 2-5) 8: Giris' 80 yards flat handicap, Heat 1- J. Bradbury 1. P. Bulley 2, C. Norton 3: Heat 2-E. Bambridge 1. J. Russell 2, B Eady 3: Final-J. Bradbury1. C. Norton 2. P. Bulley 3: Boys 100 yards flat handicap, Heat 1-W. White 1. P. Hinde 2: Heat 2-R Smith w.o. heat 3-T. Turner 1. L Phillips 2: Heat 4-K.Lawrence 1, G. Patrick 2: Final-P. Hinde 1. W. White 2. K Lawrence 3; boys' 80 yards flat handicap Heat –N Patrick 1. P. Stokes 2: Heat 2-F Craddock 1, N. Dacre 2: Heat 3-J. Carvell 1,J.Bradbury 2: Final-N. Patrick 1. P. Stokes 2. 3 Bradbury 3: 100 yards flat. A. Wittering C 1, S. Bulmer (C) 2. J. Elliott (B) 3: two-lap cycle race, 1 E. Hebron (C): Youths’ 220 yards flat, D. Mould (B) 1 D. Underwood B) 2, R. Gazeley (C) 3; boys' 220 yards lat. Heat 1-K.Lawrence 1. T. Turner 2: Heat 2 W. White 1, G. Patrick 2; Heat 3--F. Mandeville and L. Phillips d.h.: Final-w. White1. K. Lawrence 2, L. Phiilips 3: 220 yards flat. A. Wittering (C 1. S. Bulmer iC) 2 D Mould (B) 3; boat race. Benford's 1. Coles 2: Burton Latimer veterans, 100 yards flat (40 and over), B. Toseland 1, B. Rose 2. L Patrick 3: 880 yards iat, S. Bulmer IC) 1. D Mould (B 2: boys' relay race. Church of England "A" 1. Council School "A"2 Three-lap cycle race. P. Hammond (C) 1. F. Cooper (B) 2, E. Hebron (C) 3: Tug-o-war, First round-Auxiliary Fire Brigade w.o. St. John Ambulance beat The Boys, H. Keightley's beat Finedon-st. Club, Fire Brigade beat Coles Boot: semi-final-- Fire Brigade beat Auxillary Fire Brigade. Keightley's beat St. John Ambulance: Final Keightley's beat Fire Brigade; Gentlemen's cup competition (cup given by Weetabix Sports Club). Coles Boot Co. 23 pts., Benford's 14 pts. (Note: In the everts (C) indicates employee of Coles Boot co (B) a member of Benford's team. The judges of the parade were: Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Gilbert, Mrs. J. W. Coles, Mrs .M. Ozier, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Harris, Mr. and Mrs. O. Tailby, Mrs. A. Barlow, Mr. J. Miller, Mr. and Mrs. F. Dunmore, Mr. and Mrs. A. Sudborough, Mr. C. Ford and Mr. A. G. Remington.
The course of the parade was from the Mission Room. Finedon-road, through High-street, Duke-street, Alexandra-street, Finedon-street, Rosebery-street, Spencer- street, Newman-street, High-street, Church street, Station-road, New Estate, William- street, to the Recreation Field. Mr. A. Freestone was hon. parade secretary: Mr. J. Bull, marshall; and Messrs. B. Toseland and E. Turner, stewards.


Sideshows and other attractions were under the charge of the following: chairman, Mr. H. Mason: treasurer, Mr. E. Turner secretary, Mr. R. W. Cooper; skittles, Conservative Club; darts (playing card), Finedon-street W.M.C.: two stalls, British Legion (Women's); three stalls, Hart and Levy; treasure hunt, S.J.A.B.. Men's: postbox, Buckby Bros: Chinese laundry, money darts, ball and bucket, Ideal Clothiers: darts, Band Club; ring over pegs, Aunt Sally. Whitney and Westley; bowls, Britannia Club; emblems, Co-op. Clothing: can-cans and bran tub, Midland Box Factory; goldfish, A. Palmer; two stalls and sweets Nursing Association; two stalls, British Legion, Men's: street collection. Nursing Division, S.J.A.B,; sale of programmes, sports committee; stall, Methodist Sunday School: canteen. Mr. A. Smith, Wellingborough. The sports officials were: Referee, C. Mandeville; judges, W. Hakin, G. C. Dawson; hon, handicapper, C. Mandeville: clerk of course, L. Patrick: starter, W. Newman: marksmen, E. Boyfield. A Taylor, A. Pal- mer, W. Ward: Competitors’ stewards, M Cox: number board steward. P. Toseland: prize steward, S. Hawthorne: Press steward R. Grainger; obstacle stewards, F. Dicks A. Palmer, D. Cooper, W. Neville, W. Ward W. Grainger, P. Toseland: hon, secretary. C.W. Wittering. The Gala Committee was also Indebted for the use of the decorated coach lent by Mr. Brock Nichols (Finedon); floodlighting. Senior Motors (Finedon), Ltd.: dresses for Carnival Queens made by Mrs. FP. Drogs and Mrs. J. Northern; bouquets by Mr. Cole, and to the chairman of the Carnival Queen Committee, Mrs. R. Boxwell, and the hon. secretary, Miss Phyllis Perrett.

The Gala Committee officials are: Chairman, Mr. A. Palmer: vice-chairman. Mr. L Palmer: treasurer. Coun. O. Tailby: hon. general secretary, Mr. F. W. Matthews. Mr. Harold Timson, of Burton Latimer kindly lent a caravan for the use of the treasurer, and electrical loudspeaking equipment for announcements and music was provided by Messrs. E. Clark and Co. of Burton Latimer. Their mobile sound unit also assisted the district collectors on Friday night.

GALA PROCEEDS.- Receipts from Burton Latimer Hospital Gala now total approximately £310. Individual efforts not previously mentioned include the following:
Dance (gala night) £8 12s., darts committee £14, Finedon-street club £19s. 2d., sports entry fees £2 4s. 9d. Thornloe and Clarkson £13 13s, ld., Fire Brigade entry fees £2 11s. and Carnival Queen dances £19; Mrs. J. Capps' donation £1, sale of programmes £3 6s. 6d., ice cream selling rights £2 2s. All accounts for expenditure are not yet in, but, at a meeting to be held shortly as soon as the accounts can be finally prepared, it is expected that the effort will show a very satisfactory profit of over £200

Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph 29 August 1939

By the following year, the Trade Queen idea had been dropped and the traditional Gala Queen selection returned.
There was one innovation however, for the first time the chosen queen was a married woman - this was
19 year-old Margaret Annie Giles, née May, who had married Sidney Giles the previous October.

Mrs Margaret Giles 1940 Gala Queen Mary Bugby, Margaret Giles and Brenda Whiteman
Mrs Margaret Giles
!940 Gala Queen
The 1940 Queen and her attendants. L-R: Mary Bugby,
Margaret Giles and Brenda Whiteman

Although Gala Parades were held during the Second World War, there do not appear to have been
any contests to select a queen.

Click here to return to the Gala Days introduction

Click here to return to the Main Index
Click here to return to the Sport & Leisure Index