Untold lives blog

05 November 2013

Queen Victoria, Guy Fawkes, and Shredded Wheat

Queen Victoria featured in our last story as a Hallowe’en reveller.  Today she appears in a fancy dress parade in Yorkshire.

The Hull Daily Mail of 5 November 1938 reported on the annual fancy dress dance held in aid of the Roman Catholic Church at Beverley.  The prize winners included children dressed as Queen Victoria, Guy Fawkes, My Lady Autumn, Mephistopheles, and, ‘most original’, a Shredded Wheat.

Guy Fawkes Day poem with picture of a guy being carried by boysFrom London Town -Verses by Felix Leigh  Images Online Noc

Fancy dress dances were very popular in the Hull area in the 1920s and 1930s judging from the local newspaper coverage. Amongst the fairies, ballet dancers, sweeps, soldiers and sailors, the children of more imaginative parents were disguised as traffic signals, ‘doll in a box’, ‘wounded paper-boy’, and a Chinese lantern.

At a carnival organised by William Jackson & Sons in March 1937, adults competed for prizes ‘well worth winning’ – cut-glass sherry sets, ebony-backed hair brushes, silk umbrellas, household utensils.  The Bisto Kids and a Miss Masters dressed as ‘Saucy, but OK’ won consolation prizes, being beaten by ‘Happy Easter 1937’, ‘Not so green as cabbage looking’, and ‘Contract Bridge’.

Margaret Makepeace
Curator, East India Company Records Cc-by


Further Reading
British Newspaper Archive
For example-
Hull Daily Mail Saturday 5 January 1929, Saturday 11 January 1936, Thursday 4 March 1937, Saturday 5 November 1938

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