Maastricht: Gigantius birthday

4th & 5th June 1994

Philomeen the giantess Over eighty giants were invited to Maastricht from all over Europe, four travelled from the UK., Christopher III of Salisbury, plus Granfer and Caroline Moore from Dorchester, and newcomer, Hannah from Hastings. Fowlers troop of drummers were audible as well.

All the UK groups were billeted, together with a swarm of friendly Catalans, in a beautiful hostel a few miles south of Maastricht. The actual accomodation was a little spartan, but the food was fine, and there was an excellent bar just around the corner! Trouble was that the hostel was so far from town that travelling was difficult for anyone who wanted to do their own thing.

The event really began on the Saturday evening, with a session of guising, dancing, music and general lunacy in the streets of Maastricht. ( They ASKED us to do it - honest ) Various members of all the British groups ganged together for the occasion. Bands and groups from all over Europe were involved in similar semi-organised hi-jinks all over the city; great fun!

The wind blew hard on Sunday, the day of the main parade, and there were several heavy showers. As a result Granfer, and some of the other larger giants, did not take part as it was considered unsafe. So only three UK Giants paraded along with Hobnob the Salisbury hobby horse. The parade itself went well, 'though several very hard gusts of wind proved troublesome. The crowd responded well to the British style of by-play and interactive guising. The brothers Pringle from Salisbury indulged in some inspired clowning with Hobnob and a huge sword 'borrowed' from Christopher; all good stuff!

At the end of the procession there was a chance for all the giants to get together on the Vreithof, the main square, where they danced together. A magnificent spectacle to end a memorable day, which for both Hannah and Christopher III was their first trip away from home.

The picture shows Philomeen the giantess; one of the guests.

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