Picture special: May merriment in Ilfracombe

John Hextall and Lisa Sture get into the Ilfracombe May spirit.

John Hextall and Lisa Sture get into the Ilfracombe May spirit. - Credit: Archant

Ilfracombe’s annual May Celebrations return, with this year dedicated to founder Tim Cox.

Scenes of merriment from Ilfracombe May Celebrations 2014.

Scenes of merriment from Ilfracombe May Celebrations 2014. - Credit: Archant

A great deal of merriment today (Monday) proved a fitting tribute to one of the stalwarts of Ilfracombe’s May Celebrations.

Scenes from Ilfracombe May Day Celebrations 2014.

Scenes from Ilfracombe May Day Celebrations 2014. - Credit: Archant

Green clad characters of all hues took to the streets of the town to mark the annual festivities to herald the arrival of the ‘spirit of summer’.

Scenes of merriment from Ilfracombe May Celebrations 2014.

Scenes of merriment from Ilfracombe May Celebrations 2014. - Credit: Archant

For many it was also the opportunity to honour the memory of Tim Cox, who always enthusiastically took part, but lost his battle with cancer last summer.

Construction workers from the Wetherspoon site help lift a stubborn maypole from the ground after th

Construction workers from the Wetherspoon site help lift a stubborn maypole from the ground after the Ilfracombe May Celebrations. - Credit: Archant

May Queen was Chloe Aston, with attendants Alex Hopkins, Serenna Emery, Kailia Adams, Kayla Vincent and Alanya Brown.


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‘Bridgit’, a giant created by Tim, had enjoyed a makeover and was back in the parade, together with ‘Jack’ the spirit of summer, as well as drummers Humdrumconundrum, plus dance groups Ilfracombe Red Petticoats and Bideford Phoenix Morris.

The procession, marshalled by Ilfracombe Lions and Rotary clubs, made its way along the High Street to the seafront, where local schoolchildren danced the maypole, before ‘Jack’ was led down to the beach and stripped of his greenery for summer’s spirit to be released.

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A May Day mayday plea had to be issued after the maypole became stuck in the seafront – thankfully construction workers on the nearby Wetherspoon site brought over ropes and tools to save the day.

The procession made its way along the High Street to the seafront, where local schoolchildren danced the maypole, before ‘Jack’ was led down to the beach and stripped of his greenery in order for summer’s spirit to be released.

The May festivities were resurrected in 2000 by Lisa Sture and others – and Tim Cox later joined them to became a valued part of its committee. The original ‘Brigid the giant’ was built by Lisa and Erica Castle and was more than 14 feet tall.

She became lost and Tim created an interim giant that was used just once – until reborn on Monday after being recreated by Lisa and Netti Pearson.

* CLICK (above right) on our galleries of pictures from Ilfracombe’s May Celebrations.

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