Excitement is in the air! Never before has there been so many blocks of shoe whitener sold in a week at the little corner shop, while Miss Lancashire, the florist at the Hillock, says she can’t remember when she had so many floral arrangements to attend to. “What with the small baskets for the little ones and bouquets for the girls, apart from the crooks some will be carrying – but everything will be ready on time”, she says reassuringly.
Its the annual Whitsuntide procession! when the whole village will turn out, to take part in, or view. Simister’s big event.
Mr Fred Heywood, the Sunday school superintendant and stalwart member of St George’s church, has a smile on his face as he decides, with others, the route which should be taken and is very pleased at the number of children that are here this year. The large banner has been brought down from the Church to take pride of place at the very front of the procession. The sun shines down and the band is taking its place behind the dignitaries of the church and the vicar, Rev Musgrave.
Four pretty girls in long white dresses and headbands are holding the crooks decorated with flowers and white ribbons and two strong men are holding the banner. Soon the girls will take the cords which stop the banner from twisting in the breeze.
The villagers wait patiently, but, now the procession has started, the little ones are ready now, carrying their pretty baskets of floweres the small boys are holding the white ribbons joined to the smaller banner. The planned route is throught the village to Droughts Lane, where the Cheetham Hill brass band will play a lively tune and turn back to go to Croft Avenue and back again to the school.
The villagers are all involved in the church, be it themselves or through their children and grandchildren. Thankfully it is a lovely afternoon and the field, where the band will play all evening, is dry, but now just as some of the children are getting tired, the band plays as it nears the school. The bandsmen go into the school for refreshments and all is over until after tea when they will play again on Hilton’s field whilst various sports take place. The tug of war – with the men of the village – is the highlight of the day, but, as for the children, Wilkinsons Ice Cream cart is their favourite.
Village News 1930 – Boar escapes
The boar, that made its escape from his sty at Billy Hilton’s farm, caused chaos when he ran amok through the village chased by several villagers who agreed to help catch him. They nearly caught him when he ran through the allotment next to No 2, but, he dashed between the wall of the house and the high banks at the side, then he ran right through Charlie’s legs, Charlie is bow legged and they always said “he’d never stop a pig in an alley”.
However, they managed to catch the boar when he turned down Droughts Lane and careered into Cooper’s farm and set about trying to get in the pig pens where the swill was being dished up.
All material on these pages is ©Edith Oughton 2006