This film is part of Free

Holywood May Queen and Maypole dance (1958)

A flamboyant jester leads the way as crowds of children flock to celebrate Holywood's May Queen

Travelogue 1958 5 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


The crowned with flowers a graceful May Queen glides through Holywood with her delighted young attendants. A bemused crowd watch the jester skip and kick her way to the Maypole. Flanked by a large crowd she leads the Maypole Dance in front of the passive May Queen. Despite the absence of sound the children’s enthusiastic performances are delightful to watch. Before the speeches begin catch a glimpse of the Victoria Bar whilst people watch the festivities from High Street.

These rushes are amongst a wealth of footage that was generated by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. This government department had their own staff who documented the region through stills and moving images and the films they created capture various facets of life in Northern Ireland. The department was particularly busy in the mid-1950s to late 1960s, creating films that aimed to sell Northern Ireland as a holiday destination. This material captures Northern Ireland at an intriguing time, post-World War Two and pre-Troubles.