Wolsey’s Big Huzzah!

Ipswich Town Centre to ring out in Tudor song as hundreds of children parade in Wolsey’s Big Huzzah!

On Thursday 4 July, 12-2pm, Ipswich town centre will see more than 300 school children parade along a special ‘Cardinal Route’ between the Waterfront and Town Centre, to celebrate the culmination of the Thomas Wolsey 550 schools’ programme. 

The event gets underway at 12pm with a procession from St Peter’s by the Waterfront, along St Peter’s Street, St Nicholas Street, Queen Street and Princes Street before reaching the Cornhill around 1pm. Get there in good time to grab your viewing spot! 

Featuring Tudor music groups the Cambridge and Colchester Waits, led by local professional Renaissance musician Emma Mordue, the procession will grow in numbers as groups of school children join along the way, each providing their own mini performance at St Peter’s on the Waterfront, outside The Thomas Wolsey Pub, at The Thomas Wolsey statue and outside Music World.

The procession is a collaboration between Ipswich Central founded Thomas Wolsey 550 Project, and the Suffolk Music Hub, with children from five primary schools across the town.

Pupils in each school have been learning Tudor songs and dances from musician Emma Mordue as well as an authentic pavane dance from the same era. Pupils from other classes have been working with local artist Lily from Uwu Studios to create Wolsey themed banners to carry in the parade.

Welcoming the parade to the Cornhill are students from Sidegate Primary School who will perform a specially created piece choreographed as part of school workshops with Ipswich based physical theatre company, Gecko. The parade schools will then come together on the Cornhill for a resounding rendition of all four Tudor songs performed along the route as one in unison. 

And if that wasn’t enough, Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII in costume will be in town to enjoy the performance, alongside Ipswich’s Mayor.

Musician Emma Mordue said: “Working directly with the schools in the run up to this big parade has been so exciting. The Wolsey 550 project has been an ideal starting point to not only find out a bit about the history of Ipswich but to really think about then and now, what has changed and what has stayed the same. 

“The schools have all jumped into the workshops with enthusiasm, with lots of interesting questions about Tudor times, changing fashions, landscapes and morals along the way. We have all been practicing our best wealthy Tudor person’s attitude and moves and we are excited to soon be gliding our noble way along the parade route.”

This free-to-attend event has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Ipswich Central, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Ipswich Borough Council, Historic England, the Chivers Trust and the Wolsey 550 project sponsors.

Primary Schools taking part in parade are Broke Hall, Ranelagh, Ravenswood, St Marks and Rosehill.

The Tudor Songs being performed are Tomorrow the Fox, Hey Ho Nobody Home, Tallis Canon and Great Tom’s Cast.

The Parade route starts at St Peters by the Waterfront, then follows St Peter’s Street, St Nicholas Street, Queen Street and Princes Street, ending on the Cornhill.

Who are the Waits? In former times in England and Scotland, Waits were the watchmen who patrolled during the night, using a musical instrument to show they were on duty and to mark the hours. This simple task later developed as the waits added more instruments and became more proficient at playing them. Waits then became a group of musicians who would play in town centre parades or at events.

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