Tom Dodson - 'Anniversary Walk'

'Anniversary Walk / Procession'

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In Whit week, the members of various churches in the area walked around the streets, witnessing to their faith.   The huge, intricately woven banner was held by strong men and the four ribbons at each corner (used to steady the banner if it was windy) were usually held by four pretty young ladies.  Everyone dressed in their Sunday Best clothes.  The youngest children walked at the front, the girls in long dresses and veils and carrying posies or bibles.  They were followed by the older children and the men and women of the congregation.  The brass band marched along and everyone tried to walk in time to the music.  At strategic points en route, the parade halted and the minister would ask everyone to sing a hymn, usually led by the choir.  Onlookers often took the opportunity to join in with the singing, and sometimes, tagged along with the procession for a few streets.  If the weather looked threatening, the parent trotted at the side of the children, holding coats and umbrellas at the ready, so that they (and their best clothes) would not get wet.  The best clothes had to be saved for next year, to pass on to the younger brothers and sisters.