Abinger Pageants

Several pageants have been held in Abinger over the years.


This pageant was held on Abinger Roughs and is believed to have been organised by Jack Ledward.


The 1934 production (14th & 18th July), a pageant to raise funds for the local parish of St James’, was held at the Old Rectory, written by E M Forster with music composed and arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams. In the accompanying programme, it was described by EM Forster to “show continuity of country life”. It featured local landmarks and contained characters acted out by local people. Vaughan Williams composed the anthem “O How Amiable” for the occasion, dedicated to Dame Frances Farrer. FlyerTranscribed programme Original facsimile | Newpaper reviews.

More from “The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain“.

Pageant ‘has been a success succeeding all expectations...[it] provided a striking spectacle and brought in a large amount of money. It succeeded in a wider and even more important way – in the bringing together of hundreds of people, of all ages, ranks and classes, to work together with enthusiasm and good fellowship’.

Abinger did its pageant last Saturday extremely well. Mr E.M. Forster, experimenting confidently in a medium new (I believe) to him, worked a threat of continuity with marked success through a series of what might otherwise have been disjointed episodes, and a perfect arena with its wooded background and a. natural parterre for the audience would have won applause even for a mediocre programme. Actually there was nothing mediocre about a single scene


The 7th June 1952 production was a “Pageant of Sports” in aid of re-building Abinger Church after destruction by enemy action. See the original programme here. A newspaper account here (Surrey Advertiser 11th June 1952)


Pageant of the Holy Trinity, 19th and 20th December 1954. Devised by Tom Harrison. Programme.


“Our Lady’s Tumbler” by Ronald Duncan. 2nd June 1962 in St James’ Church. Programme 3/6d. Script.


Pageant “Company at the Manor” on the evening of the Abinger Fair, 21st June 1963. Devised by Tom Harrison. Draft script. Letter from Tom Harrison. Prologue written by Ursula Vaughan Williams.

This page managed by Philip Rawlings. Comments, edits, suggestions, etc. please to p.e.rawlings@outlook.com

Login/Logout St James' website

If you would like to apply for a Login account to help update this site, please email the web team here.