(July 1996) Invitation to The Sibfords Lascelles Millennium Pageant

Following an open village meeting as to how the Millennium could be celebrated, at which over 20 families were represented, it was agreed that a spectacular PAGEANT be mounted on three evenings in June 2000.

The inspiration for this is the life and works of Frank Lascelles (1875 – 1934). The son of a vicar of Sibford Gower, he attended the village school, won his way to Oxford and was a leading light in the OUDS. He lived most of his life in Sibford, became Lord of the Manor and built the present “Manor House” from several former cottages.

Frank Lascelles was best known as a Pageant Master, ultimately becoming known as “The man who staged the Empire”. He devised the highly successful Oxford Historical Event. His subsequent successes include the celebrations in the Tercentenary of Canada at Quebec, attended by the King and Queen; the Bath historical Pageant of 1909; the opening of the Union Parliament of South Africa at Cape Town, the Pageant of London at the Crystal Palace, the first public event attended by King George V and Queen Mary; and being Master of the Pageant at the Coronation Durbar at Calcutta in 1912. He created pageants all over the country, and in 1924 organised the Pageant of Empire at the Wembley Exhibition.

Work has already begun in Sibford, with an active committee in place. It is anticipated that a large cast of village people will take part, with school children in prominent roles. The story to be unfolded will record the celebrated history of the Sibfords during the past 1000 years, as well as looking forward to the next Millennium. The Committee would particularly welcome information and stories from residents in the villages, which could be incorporated into the pageant.

The Pageant will form the centrepoint of the village’s celebrations to mark the Millennium with many additional events being planned to cater for the extensive range of interests of the local population. There is a very necessary requirement for volunteers to help in the planning of the activities. For further information please contact:

  • David Ryall
  • Peter Baseby
  • Vera Jones
  • David Bennett
  • Keith Hicks

Bulletins will be published on a regular basis in the Sibford Scene.