Higham's long-lost Maypole has festival-goers in a spin

Theo and Freya Hosking complete with barn owl
Theo and Freya Hosking complete with barn owl

Visitors to Higham’s annual arts and crafts festival took a step back in time as a forgotten Maypole was unearthed after six decades.

The popular festival, which until this year was always held at Easter, saw children from Higham Primary School dance around a Maypole, only recently discovered at St John’s Church in the village.

Brian Sutcliffe had discovered the Maypole, which was brought back to its former glory by being repainted and having coloured ribbons attached.

Pupils then had lessons in the traditional May Day dance before performing to the delight of the scores of onlookers.

Mrs Val Butterfield, secretary of the organising committee, said: “We decided this year to hold the festival over the May Day bank holiday weekend to make it more family orientated.

“It was a great success and the village was really busy. I sadly missed the maypole dance but I was told it was wonderful. This was our 48th annual festival and long may it continue. It was brilliant.”

A farmers’ market, local singers and dancers, and an owl exhibition completed the attractions.

Ellis Maitland keeps a close eye on this tiny owl

Ellis Maitland keeps a close eye on this tiny owl

Julie Livesey from Pip Cottage gives a demonstration of basketweaving, which she also gives training courses on.

Julie Livesey from Pip Cottage gives a demonstration of basketweaving, which she also gives training courses on.