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Nott Street Maypole Squad

Prince's Visit ~ May 1920 ~ Nott Street ~ Maypole Squad. State Library of Victoria
Prince’s Visit ~ May 1920 ~ Nott Street Maypole Squad. State Library of Victoria

Often at the Society we come across a photo that stops us in our tracks because we want to know more. This is one of those photos. Many times there are no clues in the picture to help determine what it might be but in this case we have three key pieces of information.

The blackboard held by the girl sitting in the centre of the first row reads …

Prince’s Visit
May 1920
Nott Street Maypole Squad

So we know who it is, when it was and what is was for but clearly that is not enough.  What was the Nott Street Maypole Squad.

The next piece of the jigsaw comes in the Argus newspaper of Monday 31st May 1920.  In an article entitled To-day’s Arrangements the details of a children’s display for the visiting Prince of Wales is outlined.

“Elaborate arrangements have been made for the physical culture display by the children from the State Schools, which will take place at the Melbourne Cricket ground during the afternoon.  About 10,000 children from the metropolitan will take part … The programme to be gone through consists of the following – Tableau, junior folk dance, grand march, girls’ physical training display, boys’ physical truing display, maypole dances with minuet.”

So we appear to have our answer.  These girls (and they do appear to all be girls) will represent Nott Street State School at the children’s display to entertain the Prince of Wales at the MCG, 31st May 1920.

An advertisement later that week in the Argus indicates that a pictorial souvenir was on sale for sixpence at all newsagents.  I wonder where we would get our hands on one of those?

Special Advertisement, The Royal Visit, The Argus, Fri 4 June 1920
Special Advertisement, The Argus, Fri 4 June 1920

1920 ‘TODAY’S ARRANGEMENTS.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 31 May, p. 8, viewed 20 February, 2014,

1920 ‘Display Advertising.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 4 June, p. 6, viewed 20 February, 2014,

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We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.