Stunning crown and gown of Fish Queen on display at Fleetwood Museum

Some stunning artifacts have gone on display at Fleetwood Museum – dating back to the days of the town’s Fish Queen.

By Richard Hunt
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 10:37 am

During the years 1934-1939, Fleetwood chose an annual Fish Queen, similar to the Cotton Queen’s in northern mill towns.

A young woman from the town was picked to be queen along with a retinue of ‘ladies in waiting’.

There was always a grand ceremony and procession to mark the crowing, with the mayor and local dignitaries in attendance, and the queen would go on to attend various events throughout the year.

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The Stunning crown of Fleetwood's Fish Queen from the 1930s is now on display at Fleetwood Museum

At the time, Fleetwood had a sizeable fishing industry with a huge fleet of distance water trawlers, and the role was very much part of the town’s status as a fishing port.

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Now, as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee being celebrated this week, the Fish Queen’s magnificent gown and crown have gone on display at the museum, on Queens Terrace, and will be on show for the rest of the year.

Ben Whittaker, manager of Fleetwood Museum, said: “The Fish Queen wore a stunning gown and crown.

The stunning gown of the Fish Queen is now on display at Fleetwood Museum

"These items would not look out of place in a display at the V&A Museum in London, they were made to a very high standard.

"We though it would be very apt to put them on display this week – it means that Fleetwood will be celebrating two queens!

“As well as these two items, we have photos of the crowning events and newspaper articles.”

One photo shows the 1936 Fish Queen, Kathleen Connolly, being crowned.

Kathleen Connolly was the Fish Queen back in 1936

The regalia is a special addition to the museum’s ‘This Lass Can’ exhibition which celebrates women’s stories in Fleetwood.

Fish Queen attendants from 1936 - Flo Callighan (left), Mary Smith (right), with the lady in the middle unknown