This film is part of Free

Bere Alston Carnival

A May Day procession through the village

Non-Fiction 1935 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


The May Day Procession in Bere Alston travels to the local market town of Tavistock. Villagers dress up in the year of King George V’s Silver Jubilee which was celebrated on 6 May. The Fair dates from the time of the opening of the silver-lead mines. Reginald de Ferrers obtains a market and a fair in 1295 and shortly afterwards the village becomes a borough. The fair continues to this day.

The village is one of the largest in Devon and lies in the Bere peninsula between the rivers Tamar and Tavy. Its origins lie not only in the once thriving mining industry where tin, silver-lead and arsenic were extracted but also in market gardening where mainline trains to London would stop at the village to pick up locally grown produce of cherries, strawberries and daffodils destined for the capital.