Walking the very honest Whit parade

The streets of Leyland were filled with youngsters to mark the annual Whit parade.

Friday, 26th May 2017, 3:32 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:06 pm
A Sunday School on Whit procession, passing Stanning Street, Leyland, in the 1950s

Graham Calderbank shared this photo of Sunday schools taking part in the Whit procession, passing Stanning Street, Leyland, in the 1950s.

He said: “I think I’m the boy on the left of the The Truth banner. I am not the tall lad, though; my short trousers are over my knees! I don’t know or can’t remember any names of anyone else in the picture. It was a very long time ago.”

The photo was shared on Leyland Memories Facebook group.

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Ian Crompton posted: “Midge Hall Chapel’s banner said Jesus bids us shine. When we had finished, our hands were covered in silver paint. Happy days.”

The Feast of Pentecost, which falls on the seventh Sunday after Easter, is an important feast day in the Christian Church and was followed by a week of festivities called Whitsuntide.

The origin of the Whit Week processions of Sunday schools dates back to July 19, 1821, when there was a procession of the children of Manchester to commemorate the coronation of George IV.

From then on the annual festival flourished and 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, or the Church’s Annual Day when the girls would have a new dress and the boys were bought new trousers. Neighbours, friends and relatives would give a penny for their new clothes.

The church officers, clergy and children carried baskets of flowers or ribbons attached to banners as pictured here.

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 rail excursions.

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