In 1905, to mark 1,200 years since the founding of the town, Sherborne staged a historical pageant, which involved around 900 local people. A detailed, illustrated account of the Sherborne Pageant can be found on the ‘Redress the Past’ website. On YouTube you can see a short film clip of the procession at the end of the Pageant. This is wonderfully evocative so please do have a look.
In 2010 Rachel Hassall, the Archivist of Sherborne School, which holds many of the original records of the Pageant including numerous photographs, began to research the participants involved in the Pageant, starting with those pupils of Sherborne School who had taken part. You can see some of the many photographs which the school holds on the School Archive’s Flickr page. Rachel then enlisted the help of the SDFHS and Graham Bendell and Barry Brock undertook further research into participants who came from the wider community. Following a very successful event held at our Sherborne Family History Centre on 12 July 2015 (summary) it was agreed that the Society would continue Rachel’s research into the participants of the Sherborne Pageant as an official SDFHS Project, since this is a valuable family history resource for people with ancestors from Sherborne and the surrounding area.
Although originally anonymous, our research has enabled us to name more than 600 participants and you can download a list as a fully searchable PDF. This contains details of the people involved, the role they played, and brief biographies.
Some of the participants have been researched more extensively so if there is a ‘P’ or a ‘P*’ in the final column of the list of participants, click here to read (and download if you wish) a profile of the individual or group concerned.
This is very much an ongoing project and more details and profiles will be added as research continues, but we do need your help. Do you recognise anyone on the list? Can you help us to write a profile about one of the participants by sharing further information about them with us? Perhaps you have a photo either taken at the time or later. Please contact us as we very much look forward to hearing from you.
Please get in touch by e-mail, or by phone (01935 429609).
Barbara Elsmore (Project Co-ordinator), Rachel Hassall, Patricia Spencer.