Back in the 1930s New Mill staged several open air pageants ... and they are being brought back to life by pupils from Wooldale Junior School.
For they are to star in a new film called Pageant Tales 2016 and will feature a pageant they have devised that captures significant moments in the history of New Mill and the Holme Valley.
The Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) project, which includes new footage and historic film of the pageants, will be premiered at the Holmfirth Film Festival on Thursday, May 26 May at the Picturedrome in Holmfirth. Entry is free.
Local film-maker Tim Copsey recorded the children as they explored memories, photographs, places and local stories associated with New Mill’s community traditions.
Vikings, smallpox, the 1852 flood and Fenella the Tiger feature among some of the newly devised scenes.
The original pageants in the early 1930s retold moments of history from 2,000 years of history using music, song and dance.
The last pageant before the Second World War involved several hundred performers in a spectacular floodlit Elizabethan drama.
Project co-ordinator Heather Norris Nicholson said: “Children from at Wooldale Junior School interviewed some of New Mill’s oldest residents who had memories of the pageants. They’ve learned how people created their own entertainment. They then worked out song and dance routines and made their own costumes and props.”
The concluding dance celebrates the children’s love of nature in the Holme Valley and their wish for a peaceful and friendly world.
Costumes for the pageant use fabrics donated by Bower Roebuck, the last functioning mill in New Mill which overlooks the site where the original pageants were staged.
The children have received help with music making and animation from local specialists including internationally-renowned composer Barry Russell, animation artist Dr Simpo and carnival practitioners X-Plosion Arts.
Local groups such as Friend to Friend, Holmfirth Civic Society and pupils from Holmfirth High School were also involved.
Backed by a Sharing Heritage grant from the HLF, Heather said: “Working with the pupils on Pageant Tales 2016 was a real joy. It offers a chance to share in the process of rediscovering an intriguing strand of New Mill’s past and what it means today.”
For more details go to www.holmfirthfilmfestival.co.uk