The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
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Holsworthy's Pretty Maid Ceremony
A young girl wins the title of Pretty Maid
From the collection of:
Holsworthy in Devon crown a Pretty Maid. The tradition dates back to the 1840s and is held around the feast of St Peter on 29 June. Holsworthy’s St Peter’s Fair Week is usually held in July. At the time, to be eligible for the title required a woman to be under the age of thirty and single, handsome, deserving, quiet and to have good attendance at church.
The tradition of the Pretty Maid came about after the death of Reverend Thomas Meyrick of Carta Martha in 1841. In his will he stated three pounds and ten shillings was to be paid to the churchwarden of Holsworthy but that it should be split between two pounds and ten shillings for a single woman under the age of 30 with one pound going to a spinster over the age of 60 with the same qualities!