April 2023: Local History

Whitsun Parades – “The Banner Man”

In last month’s edition we asked whether anyone could help to clarify whether the song “The Banner Man” may have been influenced by Roger Cook’s early experiences of the annual Kingswood Whitsun Parades.

We were pleased to hear from one of our readers, Jean May, that this was indeed the case. Jean has spoken to Roger Cook, who now lives in Tennessee in the USA, who confirmed that the song was inspired by a real life “banner man”, Mr. Len Cousins, who proudly carried the Salvation Army banner in the Fishponds area.

The Kingswood Whitsun Parades and “The Banner Man” are featured in this year’s new exhibitions at Kingswood Heritage Museum. The photograph shows the Salvation Army band and banners at the 1986 Parade.