May Days And After
From joyous spring rite to politicised holiday – Chris Wrigley traces the annexation of May Day through the efforts of the increasingly active labour movement in the early 1890s.
In May 1892 the editor of a Liberal provincial newspaper, the Leicester Mercury, observed:
May Day has been wrested from the rapidly decaying possession of the petty sentiments. The May pole has been dragged down to make room for the political platform and the little bands of gaily dressed lads and lasses with their displays of flowers have given place to processions of grimly practical men and women.