Sheffield church May Queen appeals to be reunited with friends from special day

A woman who was a Sheffield church May Queen half a century ago is hoping to get in touch with her train-bearers.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 4:45 pm

Sue Pearson (nee Tomlinson) was the May Queen at Ebenezer Wesleyan Reform Church in 1970.

She is hoping to get back in touch with her train-bearers, twins Sharron and Evelyn Thomas.

Sue, who lives in Broom in Rotherham, said that she started going to the Bramall Lane church when she was six. She lived in John Street at the time and her parents worked as caretakers for a nearby tool-making firm.

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Sue Tomlinson (now Pearson), the Ebenezer Wesleyan Reform Church,Bramall Lane Sunday School May Queen with Evelyn and Sharron Thomas, her train-bearers, singing hymns at Meersbrook Park on May 25, 1970

The family moved to Gleadless Valley when she was nine but she used to catch the bus to church.

Sue was chosen to be May Queen when she was 15 and a pupil at King Ecgbert School in Totley. She said: “I was thinking about what I wore. I made my own dress and cape, which was blue velvet and I lined it with white satin. It had a big, high collar with cardboard inside to keep it up.

"My mum later gave away my dress and cape to the Salvation Army for their May Queen.

The Ebenezer Wesleyan Reform Sunday School banner in the procession marching at Meersbrook Park Whit Sing in 1971

“I got a little silver cross that I got engraved with ‘May Queen 1970’. They gave us a Bible as well.”

She still has the cross which she keeps in a box with a scrap of the blue velvet inside.

Sue also made her train-bearers’ dresses, which were of white satin with navy blue daisies appliqued on. She thinks the girls were probably about four years old.

She would love the chance to catch up with them and ask how they are doing now.

Sue said: “The May Queens were named after flowers and I chose Queen Freesia because my mum loved freesias. They fastened the flowers on to canes and held them up in the air while we walked underneath.”

A procession from the church walked all the way to Meersbrook Park for a Whit Sing, which always drew huge crowds. Church members carried a beautiful banner which you can see in our picture from the 1971 event.

Sue said that they joined up with Meersbrook United Reformed Church for the end of the parade to the park.

“I just remember it was a lovely day,” said Sue. “Luckily it was sunny.”

Sue, who has been married for 43 years and has a daughter and a son and four grandsons (soon to be five!), later became a Sunday School teacher at the church. She left aged 18 when she discovered boys, she joked.

After leaving school, Sue trained to be a home economics teacher at Thornbridge Hall in Totley but changed her mind and became a data control clerk and computer programmer at Dunston Hadfields.

It was one of several changes of career including working at Rotherham College, becoming a youth worker, teaching cake decorating and cookery and getting young people into work placements and training.

To contact Sue, drop me an email and I will put you in touch.