King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
The David Clarke Collection

Gwen Lally

`Gwen LallyPress cutting featuring Gwen Lally, date unknownGwen Lally photographPhotograph of Gwen Lally, undated Pageant of PooleCrusaders at the Pageant of Poole, 1952 Out of all the pageant masters represented in the collection, Gwen Lally is one of only two women.

As a female pageant master in the male dominated field of pageantry from the end of the 1920s through to the 1950s, her thirty year career stands at one of the longest, with her directing eleven pageants in that time.

Of particular note amongst her productions were The Pageant of Runnymede, attended by thousands of performers and spectators, and The Pageant of England in Slough, which celebrated the Golden Jubilee of George V.

Lally’s pageant The Spirit of Warwickshire was like most other pageants, in that it was a celebration of local history in Warwick.

One difference however, was the prominence of women, with most of the leading parts and many of the places on the organisational board and committees being filled by women.

It can be said that Lally was ahead of her time in this sense, asserting herself in a male dominated profession, and championing women in local areas.

This exhibition featuring the David Clarke Collection, has been researched and compiled by Fraser Simpson, MA student History Department, King’s College London.
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