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Magna Carta Pageant, 1959 - from the Spanton Jarman collection

Magna Carta Pageant banner over Abbeygate Street - 1959. From the Spanton Jarman collection ANL-160402-120244001
Magna Carta Pageant banner over Abbeygate Street - 1959. From the Spanton Jarman collection ANL-160402-120244001

The Bury St Edmunds Pageant of Magna Carta was the inspiration of the Mayor of Bury St Edmunds, Cllr Frederick George Banks, supported by a committee of local councillors and community leader.

It took place in the Abbey Gardens in June (10th-20th) 1959. Preparations took over a year and involved a wide range of local residents from the town and surrounding villages. Here a banner for the pageant is put up in Abbeygate Street.

-- This picture is part of a remarkable collection of 4,000 photographs in the care of Bury St Edmunds Past and Present Society which offers a glimpse into the town’s history.

Taken by two families of professional photographers, the Spantons and the Jarmans, the images span a period from the 1860s through to the outbreak of World War Two. The fragile glass plate negatives were donated to the society in 1997 and in recent years many of these have been ‘digitised’ thanks to a Lottery grant and donations – a further £2,000 is needed to complete the task. They can be viewed at www.burypastandpresent.org.uk where you can also find details about membership and the group’s programme of events and lectures. The Spanton-Jarman collection is held at the Bury St Edmunds branch of the Suffolk Record Office. For more details about the Record Office, including its programme of talks and courses, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/sro.


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