Riot of colour at town’s story Report by Terry Sutton, Dover Express 12 June 2008
IT WAS one of those days when Dover shone. A volunteer cast of more than 100 recalled the town’s centuries-old history at the Dover Pageant in the grounds of Dover College on Sunday afternoon.
And as if by a miracle, the sun came out to bless the dance, words and singing event after days of rain and threatening skies.
The pageant, billed as the last in a series, commemorated the first one staged exactly 100 years ago in the same college grounds.
Taking part were scores offamiliar faces in colourful costumes pretending they were kings, queens, and knights who had passed through Dover over the years. The ages of the actors for a day ranged from over 90 to toddlers who could just about walk.
Among those watching the show were a dozen or more mayors from the Confedderation of the Cinque Ports who walked in procession from the Town Hall, where they had lunched, to the grounds of the college.
They were headed in the long procession by the 30-strong band of Kent Police which played and counter-marched at the pageant as a prologue to the show.
It was a brilliant success for hard-working pageant master, hotelier Mike McFarnell, who insists this was the last time he would stage the event. He received civic thanks for his work and, in turn, thanked the cast who were willing to “dress up and look silly” in front of a large audience.
Occasionally things went wrong. A make-believe crown fell to pieces at a “coronnation”; the sound system from individual microphones at times failed to operate, once or twice an actor forgot their words. But that only made the whole event more enjoyable.
Terry Nunn, another unsung hero, provided ; the narration which near enough stuck to the true events of history ranging from Alfred the Great through to the songs of the Second World War in which many of the more senior among the audience joined before the finale of the grand parade.