West End of London
Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross. The West End covers much of the boroughs of Westminster and Camden, while the City of London, or the Square Mile, is the main business and financial district in London, the West End is the main commercial and entertainment centre of the city. It is one of the most expensive locations in the world in which to rent office space and it was close to the royal seat of power at Westminster, and is largely contained within the City of Westminster. Developed in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, it was built as a series of palaces, expensive town houses, fashionable shops. The areas closest to the City around Holborn, Seven Dials, as the West End is a term used colloquially by Londoners and is not an official geographical or municipal definition, its exact constituent parts are up for debate. The Edgware Road to the north-west and the Victoria Embankment to the south-east were covered by the document but were treated as adjacent areas to the West End.
According to Ed Glinerts West End Chronicles the districts falling within the West End are Mayfair, Covent Garden, one of the local government wards within the City of Westminster is called West End. This covers a area that defined by Glinert, Soho. The population of this ward at the 2011 Census was 10,575, the New West End Company is a business improvement district and runs services including street cleaning and security on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street. NWEC runs the Red Caps service, the West End is laid out with many notable public squares and circuses, the latter being the original name for roundabouts in London. London West End Things to do General overview of what to do in the West End
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant and keyboardist John Paul Jones, after changing their name from the New Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin signed a deal with Atlantic Records that afforded them considerable artistic freedom. Their fourth album, which features the track Stairway to Heaven, is among the most popular and influential works in rock music, Page wrote most of Led Zeppelins music, particularly early in their career, while Plant generally supplied the lyrics. Jones keyboard-based compositions became central to the catalogue, which featured increasing experimentation. The latter half of their career saw a series of record-breaking tours that earned the group a reputation for excess, in the decades that followed, the surviving members sporadically collaborated and participated in one-off Led Zeppelin reunions. The most successful of these was the 2007 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert in London, Led Zeppelin are widely considered one of the most successful and influential rock groups in history.
They are one of the music artists in the history of audio recording. With RIAA-certified sales of 111.5 million units, they are the band in the US. Each of their nine studio albums placed in the top 10 of the Billboard album chart and they achieved eight consecutive UK number-one albums. Rolling Stone magazine described them as the heaviest band of all time, the biggest band of the Seventies, and unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, in 1966, London-based session guitarist Jimmy Page joined the blues-influenced rock band the Yardbirds to replace bassist Paul Samwell-Smith. Page soon switched from bass to guitar, creating a dual lead guitar line-up with Jeff Beck. Following Becks departure in October 1966, the Yardbirds, tired from constant touring and recording, Page wanted to form a supergroup with him and Beck on guitars, and the Whos Keith Moon and John Entwistle on drums and bass, respectively. Vocalists Steve Winwood and Steve Marriott were considered for the project, the group never formed, although Page and Moon did record a song together in 1966, Becks Bolero, in a session that included bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones.
The Yardbirds played their final gig in July 1968 at Luton College of Technology in Bedfordshire and Dreja began putting a new line-up together. Pages first choice for the singer was Terry Reid, but Reid declined the offer and suggested Robert Plant. Plant eventually accepted the position, recommending former Band of Joy drummer John Bonham, Jones inquired about the vacant position at the suggestion of his wife after Dreja dropped out of the project to become a photographer. Page had known Jones since they were both musicians and agreed to let him join as the final member
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. It is headquartered at Broadcasting House in London, the BBC is the worlds oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total,16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting, the total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time and fixed contract staff are included. The BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Culture and Sport. The fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, and used to fund the BBCs radio, TV, britains first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920. It was sponsored by the Daily Mails Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian Soprano Dame Nellie Melba, the Melba broadcast caught the peoples imagination and marked a turning point in the British publics attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications.
By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office, was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts. But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests, John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast. The company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved manufacturers, to this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to inform and entertain. The financial arrangements soon proved inadequate, set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee and this was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired.
The BBCs broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, the BBC was banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00, and required to source all news from external wire services. Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee, by now the BBC under Reiths leadership had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a service rather than a commercial enterprise. The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production and with restrictions on news bulletins waived the BBC suddenly became the source of news for the duration of the crisis.
The crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position, the Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PMs own
Glinda the Good Witch
Glinda, known as the Good Witch of the South, is a fictional character in the Land of Oz created by American author L. Frank Baum. She is the most powerful sorceress of Oz, ruler of the Quadling Country south of the Emerald City, and protector of Princess Ozma. Baums 1900 childrens novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz refers to Glinda as the Good Witch of the South, she does not appear in the novel until late in its development. After the Wizard flies away in his balloon, the Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodman, Dorothy, in the well-known 1939 film version, Glinda is a composite character with the Witch of the North. Later books call her a Sorceress rather than a witch, though Baums writings make clear that he did not view witches as inherently wicked or in league with the devil. In the books, Glinda is depicted as a young woman with long, rich red hair and blue eyes. She has ruled the Quadling Country ever since she overthrew the Wicked Witch of the South during the period when Ozmas grandfather was king of Oz, in addition to her vast knowledge of magic, Glinda employs various tools and instruments in her workshop.
The Emerald City of Oz reveals that she owns a Great Book of Records that allows her to everything that goes on in the world from the instant it happens. Starting with The Road to Oz she trains the formerly humbug Wizard in magic, he becomes a formidable practitioner, Glinda lives in a palace near the southern border of the Quadling Country, attended by fifty beautiful maidens from each country of Oz. She employs a large army of soldiers, with which she takes on General Jinjurs Army of Revolt. Men are not prominent in Glindas court, Glinda is strongly protective of her subjects in the South. General Guph tells the Nome King that Glinda commands the spirits of the air, of all the characters in L. Frank Baums Oz, Glinda is the most enigmatic. Despite being titled Glinda the Good, she is not a one-dimensional caricature whose sole purpose is to embody and generate all that is considered good. They all fall short of Glindas wisdom and resoluteness, in Baums final book, Glinda of Oz, we learn that Glinda resides in a castle with one hundred of the most beautiful women in Oz at her beck and call.
In Alexandr Volkovs Magic Land series, the witch is called Stella, she is often referred to by the author and the characters and always offers people help or refuge during hard times. She is described as an eternally young beauty in a pink dress. She rules the Pink Country which is inhabited by the tribe of Chatterboxes and she seems to be a good friend of the Winged Monkeys ever since releasing them. In Philip Jose Farmers novel A Barnstormer in Oz, Glinda is portrayed as young, but the interest is not mutual
London Victoria station
Victoria station is a central London railway terminus and connected London Underground station in Victoria, in the City of Westminster. It is near to Victoria Street, which along with the area and it is in Travelcard Zone 1. From the main lines, trains can connect to the Catford Loop Line, Dartford Loop Line, Southern operates the majority of commuter and regional services to south London and parts of east Surrey, while Southeastern operates trains to south east London and Kent. Gatwick Express trains run direct from Victoria to Gatwick Airport, the Underground station is on the Circle and District lines between Sloane Square and St. Jamess Park, and the Victoria line between Pimlico and Green Park. With over 81 million passenger entries and exits in 2015/16, Victoria is the second-busiest station in London after Waterloo, combined with the Underground Station and interchanges in the national rail station, London Victoria handled about 170 million passengers in the 2015/2016 period. It is one of 19 stations managed by Network Rail, the area around the station is an important interchange for other forms of transport, a local bus station is in the forecourt and Victoria Coach Station is nearby.
Victoria Station came about in a fashion to help address this problem for the London Brighton and South Coast Railway. It consisted of two adjacent main line railway stations which, from the viewpoint of passengers, were unconnected, the London and Brighton Railway terminus at London Bridge provided reasonable access to the City of London but was most inconvenient for travellers to and from Westminster. As early as 1842 John Urpeth Rastrick had proposed that the railway should build a branch to serve the West End, but his proposal came to nothing. During the summer of 1857 a scheme for an independent Grosvenor Basin Terminus in the West End of London, the station was originally referred to as the Grosvenor Terminus but renamed Victoria as it was sited at the end of Victoria Street. Three other railway companies were seeking a terminus in Westminster, the Great Western, the London & North Western. The first two already had access to Battersea through their joint ownership of the West London Line with the LB&SCR.
The new line followed part of the route of the Grosvenor Canal with Victoria station on the canal basin. It required the construction of a new bridge over the Thames, originally known as Victoria Bridge and it was of mixed gauge to cater for GWR trains. The LB&SCR had hoped to amalgamate with the VS&PR, and introduced a Parliamentary Bill to allow it to do so in 1860 and this was opposed by the GWR and LC&DR and rejected. By way of compromise the LB&SCR was permitted to lease Victoria station from the VS&PR, Victoria station proved to be unexpectedly popular for both the main companies, and by 1862 there were frequent delays due to congestion at Stewarts Lane Junction. In March 1863 the LB&SCR and the LC&DR jointly funded a new route into Victoria, avoiding Stewarts Lane. The work was completed during 1867/8, the LB&SCR side of Victoria station opened on 1 October 1860, the temporary terminus in Battersea having closed the day before
Seating capacity is the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, in terms of both the physical space available, and limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats hundreds of thousands of people. The International Fire Code, portions of which have adopted by many jurisdictions, is directed more towards the use of a facility than the construction. It specifies, For areas having fixed seating without dividing arms and it requires that every public venue submit a detailed site plan to the local fire code official, including details of the means of egress, seating capacity, arrangement of the seating. Once safety considerations have been satisfied, determinations of seating capacity turn on the size of the venue. For sports venues, the decision on maximum seating capacity is determined by several factors, chief among these are the primary sports program and the size of the market area.
Seating capacity of venues plays a role in what media they are able to provide, in contracting to permit performers to use a theatre or other performing space, the seating capacity of the performance facility must be disclosed. Seating capacity may influence the kind of contract to be used, the seating capacity must be disclosed to the copyright owner in seeking a license for the copyrighted work to be performed in that venue. Venues that may be leased for private functions such as ballrooms and auditoriums generally advertise their seating capacity, seating capacity is an important consideration in the construction and use of sports venues such as stadiums and arenas. The seating capacity for restaurants is reported as covers, a restaurant that can seat 99 is said to have 99 covers, seating capacity differs from total capacity, which describes the total number of people who can fit in a venue or in a vehicle either sitting or standing. Use of the term public capacity indicates that a venue is allowed to more people than it can actually seat.
Again, the total number of people can refer to either the physical space available or limitations set by law
Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White novel The Once, the original cast album was Americas top-selling LP for 60 weeks. The musical has become associated with the Kennedy Administration, which is referred to as the Camelot era. In 1959, Alan Jay Lerner and Moss Hart decided to adapt T. H. Whites The Once, after the tremendous success of My Fair Lady, expectations were high for a new Lerner and Loewe musical. However, the shows production met several obstacles, Lerners wife left him during the writing process, causing him to seek medical attention and delaying the production. When Camelot began rehearsals, it still needed considerable work, the producers were able to secure a strong cast, including Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, and Roddy McDowall, as well as Robert Goulet in his first Broadway role. John Cullum made his Broadway debut as Sir Dinadan, Bruce Yarnell was Sir Lionel, Cullum replaced McDowall, and William Squire replaced Burton.
Other replacements included Patricia Bredin, Kathryn Grayson and Janet Pavek for Andrews, the show premiered in Toronto, at the OKeefe Centre on October 1,1960. It overran drastically – it was supposed to last two hours forty minutes, and instead clocked in at four and a half hours. The curtain came down at twenty to one in the morning, Lerner noted that Only Tristan, noël Coward was supposed to have remarked that the show was longer than the Götterdämmerung. and not nearly as funny. In spite of this, the morning papers gave generally positive reviews, soon afterwards, Lerner was hospitalised for three weeks with a bleeding ulcer. Soon after he was discharged, Hart suffered his heart attack. Camelot moved to Boston, but still running well over the intended length, the production team tried to find another director, even phoning Jose Ferrer, who could not undertake the job. Lerner and Loewe disagreed on how to proceed with the show, Lerner wrote, God knows what would have happened had it not been for Richard Burton.
Accepting cuts and changes, he radiated a faith and geniality, after the show opened on Broadway, Hart was released from the hospital, and he and Lerner began cutting the play even further. Two songs, Then You May Take Me To the Fair, the New York critics reviews of the original production were mixed. Fortunately for the show, Ed Sullivan approached Lerner and Loewe to create a segment for his variety program. They decided to do very little from their previous hit and instead to perform four highlights from Camelot, the show stimulated ticket sales, and Camelot achieved an unprecedented advance sale of three and a half million dollars
A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with playing jazz music and which became popular during the Swing Era from the early 1930s until the late 1940s. Big Bands evolved with the times and continue to this day, a big band typically consists of approximately 12 to 25 musicians and contains saxophones, trombones, and a rhythm section. The terms jazz band, jazz ensemble, stage band, jazz orchestra and this does not, mean that each one of these names is technically correct for naming a big band specifically. The music is traditionally called charts, improvised solos may be played only when called for by the arranger. There are two periods in the history of popular bands. Beginning in the mid-1920s, big bands, consisting of 10–25 pieces. At that time they played a form of jazz that involved very little improvisation, which included a string section with violins. A few bands had violas and cellos, usually one or two along with them, the dance form of jazz was characterized by a sweet and romantic melody.
Orchestras tended to stick to the melody as it was written and vocals would be sung, many of these artists changed styles or retired after the introduction of swing music. Although unashamedly commercial, these bands often featured front-rank jazz musicians - for example Paul Whiteman employed Bix Beiderbecke, there were all-girl bands such as Helen Lewis and Her All-Girl Jazz Syncopators. Towards the end of the 1920s, a new form of Big Band emerged which was more authentically jazz and this form of music never gained the popularity of the sweet dance form of jazz. The few recordings made in form of jazz were labelled race records and were intended for a limited urban audience. Few white musicians were familiar with music, Johnny Mercer. The three major centres in this development were New York City and Kansas City, some big ensembles, like the Joe King Oliver outfit played a kind of half arranged, half improvised jazz, often relying on head arrangements. Other great bands, like the one of Luis Russell became a vehicle for star instrumentalists, there the whole arrangement had to promote all the possibilities of the star, although they often contained very good musicians, like Henry Red Allen, J. C.
Earl Hines became the star of Chicago with his Grand Terrace Cafe band, meanwhile, in Kansas City and across the Southwest, an earthier, bluesier style was developed by such bandleaders as Benny Moten and, later, by Jay McShann and Jesse Stone. Radio was a factor in gaining notice and fame for Benny Goodman. Soon, others challenged him, and the battles of the bands became a staple at theater performances featuring many groups on one bill
John Galsworthy OM was an English novelist and playwright. Notable works include The Forsyte Saga and its sequels, A Modern Comedy and he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932. Galsworthy was born at what is now known as Galsworthy House on Kingston Hill in Surrey, England and he attended Harrow and New College, after which he trained as a barrister and was called to the bar in 1890. However, he was not keen to begin practising law and instead travelled abroad to look after the shipping business. During these travels he met Joseph Conrad, the first mate of a sailing-ship moored in the harbour of Adelaide, Australia, in 1895 Galsworthy began an affair with Ada Nemesis Pearson Cooper, the wife of his cousin Major Arthur Galsworthy. After her divorce ten years later, they were married on 23 September 1905, before their marriage, they often stayed clandestinely in a farmhouse called Wingstone in the village of Manaton on Dartmoor, Devon. In 1908 Galsworthy took a lease on part of the building.
From the Four Winds, a collection of stories, was Galsworthys first published work in 1897. His first full-length novel, was published in an edition of 750 under the name of John Sinjohn – he refused to have it republished, although he continued writing both plays and novels, it was as a playwright that he was mainly appreciated at the time. Along with those of writers of the period, such as George Bernard Shaw, his plays addressed the class system and other social issues. He is now far better known for his novels, particularly The Forsyte Saga, his trilogy about the eponymous family and these books, as with many of his other works, deal with social class, and upper-middle class lives in particular. Although sympathetic to his characters, he highlights their insular, snobbish and he is viewed as one of the first writers of the Edwardian era who challenged some of the ideals of society depicted in the preceding literature of Victorian England. The depiction of a woman in an unhappy marriage furnishes another recurring theme in his work, the character of Irene in The Forsyte Saga is drawn from Ada Pearson, though her previous marriage was not as miserable as that of the character.
Through his writings Galsworthy campaigned for a variety of causes, including prison reform, womens rights, and animal welfare and he was too ill to attend the Nobel awards ceremony and died six weeks later. Galsworthy lived for the seven years of his life at Bury in West Sussex. He died from a brain tumour at his London home, Grove Lodge, the popularity of his fiction waned quickly after his death but the hugely successful television adaptation of The Forsyte Saga in 1967 renewed interest in his work. A number of John Galsworthys letters and papers are held at the University of Birmingham Special Collections, in 2007, Kingston University opened a new building named in recognition of his local birth. Galsworthy Road in Kingston, the location of Kingston Hospital, is named for him
A theatre organ is a distinct type of pipe organ originally developed to provide music and sound effects to accompany silent films during the first 3 decades of the 20th century. Theatre organs are usually identified by the distinctive horseshoe-shaped arrangement of stop tabs above, in organs installed in the UK, a common feature was large translucent surrounds extending from both sides of the console, with internal colored lighting. A spectacular original example is the so-called Rhinestone Barton, installed in 1928 in the former RKO Iowa Theatre, another original example is the 3/13 Barton from Ann Arbors historic Michigan Theatre. The organ was installed in 1927 and is currently played five nights during a week before most film screenings. As the concept of the organ was embraced, theatre organs began to be installed in other types of venues, such as civic auditoriums, sports arenas, private residences. One of the largest theatre ever built was the 6 manual 52 rank Barton installed in the massive Chicago Stadium.
There were over 7,000 such organs installed in America and elsewhere from 1915 to 1933, many organ builders supplied instruments to theatres. Many of the elements of the theatre organ simply allowed it to do its job better than anything else could. Although not all of these originated with Robert Hope-Jones, he was the first to successfully employ. Earlier church instruments used a linkage of rods and wires to connect the keys to the pipes. Unification Previously, each rank of pipes could be played on one manual at one pitch level. In other words, there was one pipe for each key on the keyboard, with the advent of unification, ranks were extended by adding more pipes and made playable at different pitch levels, and on different manuals. Thus, fewer ranks could be used in a variety of combinations and pitches. Horseshoe console To turn the pipe ranks on and off, the organ console used drawknobs placed on panels on both sides of the manuals. Using electricity, Robert Hope-Jones substituted tongue-shaped tabs arranged on a curved panel around and these stop tabs could be quickly and easily flipped up or down to select or deactivate any ranks of pipes.
Traps, toy counter, and effects Real musical instruments, not previously associated with the organ, were installed in the pipe chambers to be pneumatically operated at will by the organist. Such instruments as piano, cymbals, marimba, orchestra bells, castanets and even tuned sleigh bells could be played from the organ keyboards. Sound effects such as train and boat whistles, car horns, bird whistles, the fronts of these chambers were covered with a set of swell shades which opened and closed like venetian blinds
West End theatre
West End theatre is a common term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of Theatreland in and near the West End of London. Along with New York Citys Broadway theatre, West End theatre is considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world. Seeing a West End show is a common tourist activity in London, in 2013, ticket sales reached a record 14.4 million, making West End the largest English speaking audience in the world. Famous screen actors frequently appear on the London stage, helen Mirren received an award for her performance as the Queen on the West End stage, and stated, theatre is such an important part of British history and British culture. Theatre in London flourished after the English Reformation, the first permanent public playhouse, known simply as The Theatre, was constructed in 1576 in Shoreditch by James Burbage. It was soon joined by The Curtain, both are known to have been used by William Shakespeares company.
In 1599, the timber from The Theatre was moved to Southwark and these theatres were closed in 1642 due to the Puritans who would influence the interregnum of 1649. After the Restoration, two companies were licensed to perform, the Dukes Company and the Kings Company, performances were held in converted buildings, such as Lisles Tennis Court. The first West End theatre, known as Theatre Royal in Bridges Street, was designed by Thomas Killigrew and built on the site of the present Theatre Royal and it opened on 7 May 1663 and was destroyed by a fire nine years later. It was replaced by a new designed by Christopher Wren and renamed the Theatre Royal. Outside the West End, Sadlers Wells Theatre opened in Islington on 3 June 1683. Taking its name from founder Richard Sadler and monastic springs that were discovered on the property, it operated as a Musick House, with performances of opera, as it was not licensed for plays. In the West End, the Theatre Royal Haymarket opened on 29 December 1720 on a site north of its current location.
The Patent theatre companies retained their duopoly on drama well into the 19th century, by the early 19th century, music hall entertainments became popular, and presenters found a loophole in the restrictions on non-patent theatres in the genre of melodrama. Melodrama did not break the Patent Acts, as it was accompanied by music, these entertainments were presented in large halls, attached to public houses, but purpose-built theatres began to appear in the East End at Shoreditch and Whitechapel. The West End theatre district became established with the opening of small theatres and halls. South of the River Thames, the Old Vic, Waterloo Road, the next few decades saw the opening of many new theatres in the West End. It abbreviated its name three years later, the theatre building boom continued until about World War I
May Day is a public holiday usually celebrated on May 1. It is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and it is a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. Dances and cake are usually part of the celebrations that the day includes, in the late 19th century, May Day was chosen as the date for International Workers Day by the Socialists and Communists of the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago. International Workers Day may be referred to as May Day and it is associated with the Gaelic Beltane, most commonly held on April 30. The day was a summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of spring, May 1 was the first day of summer, hence, as Europe became Christianised, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and May Day changed into a popular secular celebration. A significant celebration of May Day occurs in Germany where it is one of days on which St. Walburga. The secular versions of May Day, observed in Europe and America, may be best known for their traditions of dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May.
Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of May baskets, small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours doorsteps. May 1 is one of two feast days of the Catholic patron saint of workers St Joseph the Worker, a carpenter, husband to Mother Mary, and surrogate father of Jesus. Replacing another feast to St. Joseph, this date was chosen by Pope Pius XII in 1955 as a counterpoint to the communist International Workers Day celebrations on May Day. In the late 20th century, many neopagans began reconstructing traditions, traditional English May Day rites and celebrations include crowning a May Queen and celebrations involving a maypole. Historically, Morris dancing has been linked to May Day celebrations, much of this tradition derives from the pagan Anglo-Saxon customs held during Þrimilci-mōnaþ along with many Celtic traditions. May Day has been a day of festivities throughout the centuries. May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility and revelry with village fetes, seeding has been completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm labourers a day off.
Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons, the spring bank holiday on the first Monday in May was created in 1978, May Day itself – May 1 – is not a public holiday in England. Unlike the other Bank Holidays and common law holidays, the first Monday in May is taken off from schools by itself and this is because it has no Christian significance and does not otherwise fit into the usual school holiday pattern. May Day was abolished and its celebration banned by Puritan parliaments during the Interregnum, may 1,1707, was the day the Act of Union came into effect, joining England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain