2002 Dover Pageant

  Dover Pageant
Under the distinguished patronage of
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother  – 2002
 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother  – 1999        
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales   –  1990
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales   –  1908

The history of Dover was brought to life at the weekend as more than 160 performers acted out the town’s past for a captivated audience. But the show almost didn’t take place after a computer failure meant all the pre-recorded songs and narrative were lost from computer files three days before the event. All the hard work paid off for the performances in the grounds of Dover College on Sunday and Monday afternoon.
More than 250 characters were portrayed each requiring a special costume to give an authentic look to the event. Taking scenes from the Bronze Age right through to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the actors gave a brief history of the town. Visibly moved, the audience joined the Temple Ewell Players’ rendition of the war-time classic White Cliffs of Dover.
Sam Hoti, this year’s Miss Dover, played a young Queen Elizabeth at her coronation.
Several schools took part including St. Mary’s School, Dover College, Charlton School and Temple Ewell school played the knights templars, who originate from Temple Ewell. CJ Dancers provided the choreography and the dancers for the event. Organiser Mike McFarnell said: “It s a beautiful setting. We suffered a little on Sunday with the inclement weather but everything changes when the sun comes out. Some people only come to find out what happens to their curtains. All the players I have spoken to enjoyed it.” The pageant was dedicated to the Queen Mother, who became patron of the event before she died. Mr McFarnell said:
“The Queen Mother used to write a lovely letter saying how much she enjoyed the videos of the pageant and she would comment on the programme.”
He was delighted the deputy constable of Dover Castle Brigadier David Santa-OlalIa was there. Mr McFarnel1 said: “It was the community and that the paras had helped out as well that he thought was particularly important – it was a real community event.”
In the finale, the performers emerged waving 44 flags, one for each town of Dover in the world, just as they did at the first pageant. The special pageant song was sung, explaining “this town as lived to tell a thousand tales, now it lives to tell some more.” The hi-tech event was a far cry from the original pageant almost a century ago. There were more than 2,000 performers In the 1908 event, and the 5000-seater grandstand sold out for six days. In the days before television, the pageant was seen as the best way for people to remember the town’s history.
Sam Hoti, 2002 Miss Dover – Queen Elizabeth II
Archbishop of Canterbury Mike McFarnell
Barons of the Cinque Ports who carry the canopy above the Queen at a Coronation
Martin Husk, Peter Hall, Roger McCracken & Derek Leach

Mayor of Dover, Cllr. Mrs Margaret Sansum with Jeremy Cope and Terry Sutton