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REV RON GREENALL: A bygone age full of great entertainment

Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers
Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers

With this week being May Day and a Bank Holiday my main nostalgic themes are about entertainment in times past.

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Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers

Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers

You have provided me with a whole array of material on this theme over the winter months.

Thank you. Now that spring is well and truly in the air some six of them come into my offering to you today. I hope they bring memories and a smile.

In May 1947 posters appeared for the Laurel and Hardy show at the Palace Theatre Blackpool and it is such a poster I start off with today.

After wartime restrictions and still in an austerity and rationing period the cast of this show pulled in the crowds with their entertainment and laughter.

Now Buffalo Bill and his Wild West show was a bit before my time, but you tell me that in 1904 they performed on Penwortham Holme in Preston.

Read the names of the various acts and see what memories they bring back to you.

As to my second picture, you have asked if ever choirboys in churches in which I have served ever did this during my sermons, finding Dennis the Menace or Beryl the Peril more interesting than Moses or Joana?

Now Buffalo Bill and his Wild West show was a bit before my time, but you tell me that in 1904 they performed on Penwortham Holme in Preston.

Much later we used this same land as our football pitch for school matches, perhaps the Wild West show rubbed off in our aggressive play all those years on!

Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers

Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers

The Morris dancers picture from 1999 led me to write next about Morris and maypole dancing and may blossom. Hawthorn blossom is already showing in some hedgerows and in Medieval times villagers would be up at sunrise to cut branches of it to put in their windows and on their doors to celebrate the coming of the merry month of May.

Now I must try to answer your question you have repeatedly asked me why Easter is not the same date each year?

Well the ruling is that it falls “on the Sunday following the full moon that follows the northern spring equinox” This means it can be as early as March 21 or as late as April 25.

The Council of Nicaea agreed this in 325 a.d. and the Synod of Whitby ratified this in 664 a.d.

Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers

Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers

So where does my fifth picture fit in? It shows the remains of the Abbey at Whitby where this ratification was made, the parish church, and the replica of Captain Cook’s boat I made reference to recently.

My Maypole picture, again from a Chorley reader, comes to me with this comment “No doubt as your articles so often prove that what goes round comes round, you will sometime find space for this very old schoolbook picture”.

I replied that I would and now today I do.

Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers

Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers

Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers

Rev Refs May 8 Laurel and Hardy advertising poster, Beano reader, Captain Cook, Buffalo Bill, Chorley maypole dancers