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The Buttercross Belles


A very different May Day Celebration

Posted by Janet Hindle on May 4, 2020 at 7:50 PM

Although sadly there could be no community dancing at Otley's historic Maypole this year, The Buttercross Belles, Otley’s north west Morris team, together with dancing friends from Wayzgoose, found other ways to mark and celebrate May Day. The Maypole, at Cross Green was decorated with flowers by dancers on their daily exercise. A few Belles were up before dawn, in their gardens or taking a walk with their household, to dance up and welcome the summer sun in the traditional way in Otley, Shipley and Spofforth.

More Belles up and down the Wharfe and Aire valleys joined in later in the morning, dancing at home. Homemade maypoles were constructed and lego models made, to celebrate the traditional customs in new ways.

Jaci Bowman, the Buttercoss Belles’ Squire, said ‘This was a very different May Day for all of us. Although we couldn’t dance together, the Belles and friends from Wayzgoose found inventive ways of coming together and marking the day. We look forward to dancing out before too long and gathering at the Otley Maypole to celebrate in a more traditional way next May.’


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