Juan Molina and Caitlin Donaldson were crowned May King & Queen this year at Badgemore School by Henley Mayor, Councillor Ken Arlett on Friday.
Being chosen by their friends in their class for these regal roles is a highlight for children in Year 6 and has been a tradition at the school for many years. After the crowning, all the children enjoyed performing maypole dancing in their classes to their parents. At one point the pole looked like it was going to fall but was rescued gallantly by Mrs Jacobs.
After being crowned Juan said, “I need to thank this school a lot for introducing me to such a beautiful place and showing me a new culture.I grew up in Colombia and it was a very different life than I have had at Badgemore Primary School. The teachers here are more patient and there is more equipment and possibilities. I have made some great friends and we are looking forward to going up to Gillotts together. I will miss our amazing forest school and the fun of primary school. It is an honour to be wearing this crown and being the May king. Thank you, Badgemore and all the people who have supported me.” He told us afterwards, “It’s a big thing for me as I’m not the best example pupil but I think it’s really cool and will set a good example now.”
Caitlin’s speech which was read out by the Mayor said, “I would like to thank everyone for being so helpful and supportive of the school. I have been at Badgemore since pre-school and I remember looking through the gates at all the big kids. It is thrilling to think that I am now one of them. Being May queen is so special to me. I always loved the idea of wearing a pretty dress and being crowned by our lovely mayor. When I was younger I used to stare at the May queen and think, ‘that is going to be me some day’. Sadly, I am still just as shy in front of crowds but I’m working on gaining more confidence. This event is one of my favourite times of the year. I love seeing all our wonderful classes dancing and having a great time. Plus the games add extra fun. I really love this school and everyone here. I don’t know where I would be without all your help. Once again, I would like to thank everyone for coming and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.”
Ken said afterwards, “I’ve been to the school before but never been into the grounds and it’s my first time of crowning a May King or Queen. It was a honour and interesting to watch the children maypole dancing. Considering they have only been practising for a couple of days it was very good. Mayoress, Dorothy added, “It’s been really enjoyable and it was fun and amusing when the children went a bit wrong.”
Headteacher Marion Arnold said, “The children are always up for a new challenge – learning a new dance. It is a brilliant tradition we have here at Badgemore School and what a beautiful setting we have for it too. This year I’d also like to thank Friends of Badgemore School (FOBS) for organising the other activities and games which have included wellie wanging, lucky dip, cake stall and a wishing tree which will last for ever.”
Catherine Mattingly from FOBS said, “This year we wanted to have a bit of break between dances. All the children have very much been involved and contributed towards the fair today. Its been very much about recycling – the children bought in a toy for the lucky dip and a book for a book swap and we asked parents to bring in their own mugs for their tea and coffee. The children also wrote their name, date and wish on a piece of fabric and and attached it to the rope around the large tree at the entrance. We’re going to unwind the rope and use it for bunting for other future events – I believe it’s also another traditional may fair activity.”