Vera Ricketts who, as Vera Stoney, was Children’s Day Queen in 1939, was an audience member as the BEA Singers performed the Children’s Day song ‘Floreat, Loidis’ at an exhibition at Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall.
Mrs Ricketts remains the longest serving Children’s Day Queen ever, as the 2nd World War broke out just weeks after she was crowned. She kept her crown and gown under her bed throughout the war.
The words to ‘Floreat, Loidis’ were kindly given to Bramley Elderly Action by Jeff Beaumont, whose 94 year old mother remembers singing the song at Children’s Day, probably in 1930 or 1931. Although it has two verses she thinks that only the first verse was sung on the actual day. There is an original copy of the sheet music in Abbey House Museum.
The BEA singers performed in the new Community Gallery, which houses an exhibition about Leeds Children’s Day, which ran from 1922 until 1963. The exhibition, produced in partnership between Bramley Elderly Action’s Reminiscence Group and the Bramley History Society, includes photos, paintings, objects and footage from the Yorkshire Film Archive. It will be open until the end of June.