Belfast Royal Academy - founded 1785


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As we enter the month of May once more, it’s the perfect time to remember one of those ‘lost’ traditions that played a part in life at the Academy in years gone by – dancing round the maypole.

It’s interesting to see the maypole standing to the rear of the Crombie Building in an area of the playground which is now tarmacked and dominated by two trees, and that the photographer would appear to be stood where the Bruce Building now stands.

But dancing round the maypole was perhaps not to everyone’s taste, as the great Jack Kyle reminisced in an article he wrote for The Owl in 1941, “On sports days I managed to perform fairly creditably. One thing I hated about sports day was dancing round the maypole, holding onto a coloured ribbon which came from the top of it. On one occasion the ribbons became entangled, much to the annoyance of our dancing teacher!”

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