Some say the origin of the Whit Week processions of “Sunday school scholars” (which are still held to this day) date back to 19th July 1821 when there was a procession of the children of Manchester to commemorate the coronation of George IV. Other Scholars have traced the first “walks” back to around 1800, arising out of the Sunday School movement started in 1784. In Manchester, children were traditionally gathered in St Ann's Square to mark the anniversary of the Sunday School but the gathering was later moved to Albert Square.
Each Whit Friday, local churches or chapels in the region employed bands to lead traditional processions through the streets. Whit Friday was the "Scholars' Walk", when the girls would have a new dress and the boys would have new trousers, and neighbours, friends and relatives would give a penny for their new clothes.
St Georges Parade with their banner
just above Queen Street and the Co-op.
During the 19th century Whitsuntide became an accepted holiday week for all, with the mills shutting down and the workers taking canal boat trips and later, with the coming of the railways, cheap rail excursions, mostly to Blackpool it seems!
Hyde Chapel walking down past Enfield Street School.
The Zion Congregation with their banner circa 1975.
Painting of the original Zion Congregational Church by my Dad.