Harrow on the Hill gantry ceremony

May Day at Harrow on the Hill


Inigo Richards - Entrance to Harrow (1770)

Inigo Richards – Entrance to Harrow (1770)

Another feature on the Hill has been the scaffold on the High Street, which stood in front of the King’s Head hotel for about 230 years until the hotel was redeveloped into flats. This part of the world was significant in the days of coach and horse transportation: Harrow used to be a stopping point for travellers north out of London. The scaffold was a well-known landmark, and is now one of only 10 gantry signs left in the UK. The local conservation trust resolved to restore it.  Take a look at their website for more information about the project.

crowds at Harrow on the Hill ceremony

A great mixture of people on the Hill – some turned out in Tudor dress

On May 5th, the community on the Hill celebrated the May bank holiday with a street party and big unveiling of a new gantry, along with a good excuse for food and festivities. I headed up to the party with some neighbours and snapped some photos. Too late for the morris dancing, we got to see a speech from the project manager who had installed the new gantry, and also the mayor before a star guest turned up for the unveiling ceremony:

Harrow on the Hill gantry ceremony

Henry VIII unveils his portrait along with the Mayor

This version of Henry VIII seemed to be a Scouser, but this didn’t take away from our suspension of disbelief.

People made a real effort to dress for the occasion, many in Tudor costumes. Local shops did a roaring trade and my local boozer was packed.

Kids in medieval clothes

Children all dressed up to meet Henry VIII


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