THE forgotten pomp and ceremony of a Roaring Twenties spectacle has been revived through the history books, newspapers and black and white photographs chronicling the forerunner to our modern-day Kynren.

University of Huddersfield historian Dr Tosh Warwick delved into dozens of records held in North Yorkshire and Newcastle to resurrect the memories of the Mount Grace Priory Pageant, held 91 years ago to the day.

The North Yorkshire priory, once occupied by Carthusian monks and now an English Heritage site, was also home to one of Teesside’s most celebrate industrial families – the Bell family.

On top of shaping the Kingdom of Iraq, the Bell family carried out the celebrated At the Works social survey of Victorian and Edwardian Middlesbrough and led Dorman Long, and presided over the Transporter Bridge opening.

Dr Warwick said: “It was in September 1927 that author of At the Works, founder of the Middlesbrough Winter Garden and playwright Lady Florence Bell, hosted the Historic Pageant of Mount Grace Priory, drawing thousands of participants and spectators from the nearby towns and villages, including performers from Hutton Rudby, Middlesbrough, Northallerton and Port Clarence.

“Participants and performers were united in celebrating the story of the Carthusians, who for centuries occupied the priory that once stood on the site.

“In a quaint setting distant from the manufacturing centre of Middlesbrough, the gathering of some 1,500 players and thousands more spectators transformed the industrial elite family’s country estate for three days.”

Lady Florence Bell combined her passion for performance and the family’s interest in their home’s history to put on the pageant, covered in regional and national newspapers.

However, mourning over the death of her stepdaughter Gertrude Bell and son Hugo Bell in 1926 delayed the organisation of the event..

The pageant chronicled the history of the site from 1084, through to the abandonment of Mount Grace at the Dissolution.

Dr Warwick added: “Today, a short piece of footage of the pageant survives in the Yorkshire Film Archive, originally recorded for screening at cinemas in Northallerton.

“The footage not only captures part of the performance, but also shows preparation for the pageants and key figures that were in attendance, including Lady Bell greeting guests.”