[I have had an idea to help with the campaign to save the May Day / Beltane bank holiday. Its not entirely Westcountry, but is about keeping our strong traditions healthy...
I was inspired by some train shaped bunting/petition to come up with my own small act of ‘craftivism’ – using artistic and crafty means to be an active person politically.
I realised, prompted by an old early childhood memory, that maypoles have been casting their long shadows over Britain in perhaps more profusion than many people realised – When I asked around most people had encountered a maypole in some form or other. I want to some how show this visually to those who will decide on the future of May Day bank holiday.
At the moment I am thinking of a large board, either with the outline of Britain burned on to it or pasted on in map form. I would then drill holes into the board everywhere there was a maypole and put in a short twig. Hopefully most of Britain would be forested. Al the ones that had been used in the 21st century I would tie a brightly coloured thread around.
This whole thing would then be given to the relevant political person as a physical demonstration of the popularity of the concept of May Day. I would deliver it next May Day (2012).
This is where I need help –
Firstly if other people think this is a good idea we could regionalise it (saving me a lot of work!) and, after deciding on a scale create a sort of jigsaw map that could be fitted together (I bagsie the Westcountry – Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset!).
Secondly, if you have ever seen a maypole, tell me where and when! The more I can locate the more impressive the map will look…
And thirdly – tell me your thoughts on the whole idea! – Positive, negative – I can take it! (For instance I am not sure if Maypoles are a big thing in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales – I know Beltane is, but does it involve maypoles? As the plans at the moment are only to scrap Mayday Bank holiday in Wales and England should I leave Scotland and Northern Ireland out?).
I hope we can retain the right to holiday on this most ancient of festivals.
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