May the 22nd 1914 in the Southend and Westcliff Graphic
The winners of the banner at the competition of the Canewdon and Southend Ruri-decanal Union held at the Victoria Hall Southend. “Benfleet the Land of Hope”.
Maypole dancing was a traditional May Day activity and permanent maypoles were to be found in many Essex villages. Originally, an ancient fertility symbol, and frowned on by Puritans, the maypole was forbidden in 1644, but restored by Charles 2nd. By 1854, fearing that maypoles were now being used “to heat steam engines”, the people of Burnham attempted to revive the May Day sports on the village green. Even then it was felt that dancing round a maypole ‘at sunrise in a hoar-frost might not be very attractive to modern young men and maidens’ but today’s school children still enjoy maypole dancing as these children did at South Benfleet 1914.
Benfleet & Canvey Regatte August 1913 there are two photos the ‘egg and spoon’ race also ‘biting the treacle bun’ which took place in Benfleet National School field.