Ruby sparkled as the 2014 Hastings May Queen in the Crowning ceremony in Alexandra Park

Hundreds of people gathered in Alexandra Park on Sunday, May 4, 2014, to witness the crowning of the May queen.

Crowning of the May Queen, Alexandra Park, 4/5/14
May Queen Ruby Webb, age 14 and goes to Hastings Academy. SUS-140405-155100001
Crowning of the May Queen, Alexandra Park, 4/5/14 May Queen Ruby Webb, age 14 and goes to Hastings Academy. SUS-140405-155100001

In glorious Spring sunshine, 14-year-old Ruby Webb received the floral crown while her attendant and lower girls watched on. The event started in 1934 and was held at the castle in front of 5,000 people. But in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s support dwindled to as low as just 200. It was reported the council was even considering axing the event as it was attracting so few people.

In 2013 the crowning was moved to Alexandra Park for the first time since 1989 attracting a much larger following.

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The dress was made by Sussex Coast College student Jess Wenden. The original dress for the first crowning in 1934 was made by a student from the old Hastings College of Art.

Crowning of the May Queen, Alexandra Park, 4/5/14 SUS-140405-154706001

The floral crown was created by Angie Fox, daughter of a local morris dancer.

A history of the event was held in the cafe at the park over the bank holiday period.

There was dancing around the Maypole, accompaniment by The Fiddle Choir and a procession from the lower lawn to bring Ruby to her throne by horses Magic and Beau.

Barry Jones, organiser of the crowning of the May Queen for the past 20 years, said: “It’s a wonderful occasion and great to see so many people coming to support the girls. The event has come a long way in re cent years and is an important part of our culture.”

Crowning of the May Queen, Alexandra Park, 4/5/14 SUS-140405-154717001

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Crowning of the May Queen, Alexandra Park, 4/5/14 SUS-140405-154729001
Crowning of the May Queen, Alexandra Park, 4/5/14 SUS-140405-154803001
Crowning of the May Queen, Alexandra Park, 4/5/14 SUS-140405-155037001