Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Friday, 2 July 2010

Whit Walks

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.

Whit walks

Whit walks old co-op
St Georges Parade with their banner
just above Queen Street and the Co-op.

crowds market whit
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!
whit walks hyde chapel

Hyde Chapel walking down past Enfield Street School.
Approx 1975

Zion Banner 1975

The Zion Congregation with their banner circa 1975.

Zion Congregational
Painting of the original Zion Congregational Church by my Dad.


Tom said...

I don't recall ever walking Nancy.. we never went to church.. yet mum always kept a bible n the house and an old one under her pillow.. I do recall the walks however and the 'new cloths'

Hydonian said...

I walked every year ,Tom with the Zion Congregational Church on Stockport Road. My Mum played the organ there so naturally I went to sunday school there. I used to love the occasion - new clothes and money were always a feature of the day! There used to be thousands walking. I believe the Zion had the honour of having the biggest banner :)

Tom said...

I remember the old church being there Nancy... have you got pictures of it? I think I've also got a poem from James Leigh that was wrote for a prize giving.. I'll have a look and let you know if I find it.

Hydonian said...

Yes , I've got a picture of it that my Dad painted, Tom. My Mum also wrote a book about the history of the Zion. I'll dig it out.There are some interesting pictures in it. The poem would be great to read ,too!

Tom said...

To have a painting by your dad, and a book by your mum must make you as proud as punch Nancy.. I've found the poem.. its called 'A Retrospect.
It says... Spoken At Zion Chapel Sunday School, On The Occasion Of The Young Men's Party, December 11th, 1897.

It is wrote in local dialect and there's 20 verses... I'll start writing it out next time I can't sleep and the house is quiet... ha!

Hydonian said...

Yes, Im very proud of both my parents ,Tom. As well as being the best Parents you could wish for they are also both very talented! :)

Tom said...

I have just come cross a picture of this water colour on the net... it's a stunner Nancy..

Hyde as so many talented people... I was just looking at that book of poems I mentioned and came across there words when reading the Introduction by Thomas Middleton.. he says:

"His motto is to make the best of life, and to put to good use the talents God has given him. He believes that every man may play his part well on the great stage of life..."

It ends with the following extract..

This world to me's a woodland fair;
I' every bush and tree
Aw hear some sort o' singing brid
Wi' sweeter song than me.

Yet there is just one sylvan spot,
One quiet snug retreat,
Wheer aw con twitter forth wi' joy
My feeble, faint pee-weet.

An' weel aw know mi humble song
To some great pleasure gives,
So thee bi' same as me, owd brid
An' twitter while theau lives.


Ha! well Nancy me might not 'Twitter while theau lives' ..... but we do blog...

Coy said...

Popped over from good 'ol Wiggers World and what a treat! Even though I'm from the other side of the pond I simply love these old historical photos!

Carletta said...

So this is where you are hanging out now. :)
I've enjoyed the visit and must say this is a really wonderful endeavor.
Hope you're well and happy my friend. Tell Jane to give you a hug for me. :)

Tom said...

Thanks for stopping by... I hope you will pop in now and then and see some of the other old items Nancy and I have in store. Keep up the great work you do with 'Country Captures' and don't worry I'll still be dropping in and catching up on your wildlife pictures.
Thank you for taking the time to follow the link over here.. I needed a rest from my other blog and have so for quitea while now. Doing this blog is very different as if really comes from the heart... and with my good friend Nancy a true Hydonian in every sense on board it just makes it such a pleasure bouncing stuff off each other and other Ex-Hydonians.
Don't worry though as I'll miss certain blogs and bloggers and will keep popping by and catching up... keep an eye on your comment section for my name .

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