School’s May Queen dress survives 100 years

Amy Wilson in the 1913 May Queen dress.
Amy Wilson in the 1913 May Queen dress.

The dress was worn 100 years ago by sixth former Edith Willey when she was May Queen of the Central Secondary School for Girls in Leopold Street.

And nobody else has worn it until Amy Wilson, current head girl of the school’s successor, High Storrs.

“How the dress has survived all this time is still something of a mystery, but it is thought it was kept by a Miss Furtado, who was the head at High Storrs in the 50s and 60s and is known to have been a bit of a hoarder,” said David France, editor of the Old Centralians Newsletter. “The dress was acquired by our archivist Mary Hickes - it was still sealed in its original box with Edith’s name on it.”

Each year the dress was dedicated to a flower - apple blossom in 1913.

May Queen celebrations ran from 1907 to 1939 when they were abandoned as too ostentatious for wartime and at a time of clothes rationing.