May Day celebrations originate from when the Celts marked the beginning of Summer with great bonfires in honour of the sun. On May Day in the past, young people collected greenery and flowers from the woods and fields and decorated their homes. This was a method of ritually conveying the fertilising powers of nature into the community. May Day rites, which have their origins in ancient fertility ceremonies, included the crowning of a May Queen, Morris dancing, traditional plays and dancing round the Maypole.

The Maypole's Significance:-May Day celebrations centred round the white hawthorn which was later
replaced by the garlanded maypole. Both symbolised the fertile transition into summer.        

MAY DAY 1913

Entry taken from the School Log Book:-

1913 May 2       "We are taking May Day Celebrations this afternoon at 3pm.
                           To allow the children to get home and prepare, registers are being-
                           closed at 2.30 instead of 2.45.
                           Daisy Ray was crowned May Queen this afternoon before a gathering of
                           parents, friends and children.

May Day was celebrated for several years running at the School.


1877   May 15     "The School was closed on account of the Club"

"Club Day was the Day of the year in the Village. Nearly everyone took a holiday. This was always in May. A procession of the members of the Westfield Benevolent Society was formed outside their club room (the New Inn). Each member wore a blue and white rosette and a beautiful blue and white banner was carried.
Away they marched to Church together with anyone else who cared to join them (I for one would go). The hymn 'Sons of labour dear to Jesus' was sung, the address given and they marched back to the Club Field. On this a huge Marquee had been erected and tables were all ready laid for a bumper dinner consisting of all sorts of roast meats, jellies, pies and puddings - a dinner long to be remembered! After all had eaten speeches were made and entertainments continued for the rest of the day.
Outside in the field was all the fun of the fair - roundabouts and swings, coconut shies, the gingerbread stalls and the pink and white sugared cakes. What fun it all was and how we enjoyed ourselves! However, the pennies
spent at the Fair had to be earned. Weeks and weeks before Club Day we did odd jobs, hoarded our half-pennies and no sweets were bought for weeks. If we managed to save two shillings (10p) we felt like millionaires and when the end of the day came, we went home happy."

(Extract from "Memories of my Village by Ada Brookes) Copyright given to R.Carter ©2013 Ruth Carter

Bill Rendall & John Sinden of NewCut with George Barden Landlord of New Inn who opened fete


During the 1950's residents of NewCut re-invented the Village Fete. On each Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday traditional entertainment with fancy dress, greasy pole, bowling for the pig, hoopla, races, etc. etc. was enjoyed by the whole village. One particular year saw Henry Cooper the BritishHeavyweight Champion who, upon driving through saw the festivities and stopped to join in the fun!

George Barden bowling for pig

1975 Fund raising for the new community centre commenced with the first Westfield Community Assocn fete held on the Parish Field on May Bank holiday Monday

1976 Hastings May Queen opened the Fete which was held on Parish Field
May 1977 Queens Silver Jubilee Procession & Fete

1977   The Year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee saw celebrations being held over the May Bank Holiday weekend culminating with the WCA Fete. The lengthy fancy dress procession of floats and pedestrians was headed by “The Frontiersmen” an equestrian display team giving an auspicious impression to the onlooker. A fanfare from the Hastings Corps of Drums heralded the arrival of “Miss Westfield” onto the Parish Field to open the  event.  Throughout the afternoon arena displays included gymnastics , tug-of-war and the Display Team.  No other event has seen the number in attendance as were present on that day and there was little room to move amongst the different stalls run by the various village organisations.  To round off the events an evening of entertainment with a barbecue had been organised including a display by a Parachute Team.  It was unfortunate therefore that at 4pm the heavens opened and pouring rain necessitated the removal of events to the Parish Hall. The hurried decoration of that venue was undertaken by three people and luckily completed in time for the commencement of a thoroughly enjoyable evening which saw the majority of the village together with the Parachute Team who drove down to join us in attendance!

©2009 Ruth Carter. All Rights Reserved.