The Thurlows

Village News & Information

Show business

1938 was a busy year for the Thurlows – it was the year of the Pageant, which depicted three scenes that could have taken place in 1614, 1669, and 1820. The Pageant was written by Mrs Ryder with the help of her family, friends and helpers, and was performed by the people of the two villages. It proved a big success. There were two performances, on July 9th and 11th. The Pageant was held on the lawn at Little Thurlow Hall, the home for Major and Mrs K.K. Horn. I was fortunate to have taken part as one of the dancers and my partner was Yvonne Steed, whose father was the village policeman. We used to go to Great Thurlow Hall for our dancing lessons, where Mrs Ryder played the piano, helped by her daughter Mary. We went for rehearsals after school and Saturday mornings. We had to have costume fittings and Mrs Last and Mrs Clark made these. Sir Malcolm Campbell, MBE, the world land- speed record holder, who brought along his car the ‘Bluebird,’ opened the Pageant. Sir Malcolm was a racing driver friend of Major Horn, both having raced at the famous Brooklands circuit.

The proceeds from the Pageant were used to start a fund to build a village hall for the two villages. The only hall in Little Thurlow was the tin-covered building at Mungo Lodge, owned by Mrs Pemberton-Barnes, who at times could be a bit eccentric. She always carried a long-handled spud to help her walking.

A cine-film was made of the Pageant and was shown later up in the Barn at Great Thurlow Hall.