AT THE February meeting of the Town Council in 1919, it was agreed to arrange a historical pageant in celebration of peace following the ending of the Great War.

The result was ‘Salisbury through the Ages’, a very ambitious event that featured many of the schools in Salisbury and involved over 4,000 children. On the afternoon of Monday July 28th 1919 the children, dressed in their costumes, paraded through Salisbury streets to Victoria Park. Crowds of people watched as the children depicted ‘The Dim Past’, ‘The First Charter’, ‘Parliament at Salisbury’, Elizabeth of York at Salisbury’ and many more scenes of Salisbury’s historical past.

In organising the Pageant, Mr. Frank Stevens (who was resident curator of the old Salisbury Museum), worked tirelessly and leading up to the event he enabled all the children to understand the parts that were taken. It is recorded that the children enjoyed their rehearsals and learning about local Salisbury history – they really entered into the spirit of the Pageant under the guidance of Mr. Stevens. Indeed, when they caught sight of him at Victoria Park they rose en masse and enthusiastically cheered him as an expression of thanks for all he had done for them.

This Pageant was much more than a magnificent spectacle, it was a big local history lesson driving home what an important centre Salisbury was in bygone days - and for those who loved their city back in 1919, it was also what they hoped it would become in the future.

n Salisbury History Festival will cover the film footage of the 1919 Peace Pageant as part of four presentations on Salisbury’s historical past. Salisbury Guildhall, Saturday, August 24, 1pm to 6pm. Tickets are free and available from the Information Centre, Fish Row and The History Bookshop, Fisherton Mill, Fisherton Street. Event details at