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Padstow Mayday 2007

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The 1st of May is Padstow May Day, for those of you who don’t know what May Day is all about, here is a quick explanation.

Padstow May Day is a pagan festival all about driving out all the winter demons and celebrating the coming of spring and summer. The local people of the town dress all in white and will wear a red or blue sash, depending on which Oss there family follow they carry a hobby Oss (known as the Oss) around the town while other locals play drums and accordions beating out a hypnotic melody, the celebrations go on all through the day and well into the night, the Oss and the band and all the followers will visit many watering holes during the day.

I had invited my good friend Merryn from Sheffield to the celebrations and she was delighted to come.

This year May Day was held on a Tuesday it was a beautiful sunny day, I’m not one for wearing shorts and a skimpy t-shirt but I could well have on this day. It must have been well into the 70s probably more like 75.

As the Blue Oss came up through the metropole hotel and on to the housing estates at the top of town it reminded me of May Days of old with the Oss dancing and all the Padstow people dancing in front of it, it was magical, its like the pied piper you hear the music and you just have to follow. I will not forget all the people dancing and following the Oss (Mayer’s) they are known as there were only locals no visitors what so ever, don’t get me wrong I’m not anti visitor but I do think Padstow May Day belongs to the Padstow people, and this was what reminded me of the old days. Even though all my ancestors come from Padstow and I live out St Merryn, I still think I’m privileged to come to the hobby Oss day. I am in my 71st year now and I don’t know how many more I can do, but it did seem that I had a good strong pair of legs.

In the after noon Merryn and  I followed the Red Oss all the way up the top of town, it was good to see all my mates all in there whites and a Red ribbon all singing and having a great time, and once more there were not a lot of visitors. It was the best Hobby Oss day I had ever seen, and no matter how many visitors come to Padstow for May Day maybe lots or maybe not many you can guarantee that the Padstow people will always bring the Oss out and celebrate May Day. I was invited back to Maurice Murt’s house where I had a good sleep which gave me energy to enjoy the evening, I came home about 8.30 pm I didn’t stay to the end like I have done other years.