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A KIDSGROVE PROCESSION

by PHILIP R. LEESE

The date is early in the 1900s, and the occasion is celebrated by this postcard, posted in 1912. It shows a band and procession approaching the junctions of Long Row and Valentine Road with Liverpool Road, Kidsgrove (Staffordshire), though if the procession had a special purpose, it is now lost in the mists of time. (It obviously isn't a funeral or the men would be doffing their caps).

In the centre of the photograph you can see the Town Hall clock and the Victoria Hall, built in 1897. To the left can be seen the belfry of the Kinnersley Memorial School, now demolished. Some of the houses in the left foreground are still standing, but those on the corner of Long Row are now gone, and another house has been extensively rebuilt.

On the right, the row of cottages with the prominent sign Scales & Sons Boots Wear Well (which used to house the Kidsgrove lock-up in one of the cellars), have also been long demolished. The three-storey building at the extreme right was an engine house - later converted to a cinema which stood on the site until the 1970s.

Notice the child in the sailor suit on the left, girls in white pinafores, the elderly ladies in dark dresses and white head-scarves, and the hands in waistcoat pockets, a characteristic stance.

The photo was taken at 10.20 a.m. on a fine day in Spring or early Summer, probably on a Saturday.

Below: a closeup of the central group, showing a horseman with a bright shiny helmet.

[Philip adds that this is all the information he can offer "apart from the obvious facts that the man 8th from the left is left-handed, a freemason, had never been further than Stockport, and had eaten an oatcake for breakfast". But take no notice: Philipís just been re-reading his Sherlock Holmes collection, and the pipe-smoke befuddles him.]

Kidsgrove area had a fine tradition of music, and Philip has written about the Talke choirs, as part of his ongoing series of local history booklets, in The Best of Kidsgrove Times, volume IV, (which uses the photo here as its cover) and also writes about local topics in the Kidsgrove News. The booklets are only done as short runs, so donít hang about if you want to get a copy. Philip also does local history talks about the Kidsgrove area and you can contact him at 36 Ravenscliffe Road, Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs ST7 4HX.

The postcard (owned by Mrs Beryl Fox) was kindly loaned for this feature by Mrs Archer and Mr & Mrs P. Nutty of Kidsgrove, for which courtesy they all have Dudley Mallís thanks.

Article copyright (c) 2002, Philip R. Leese.
Click here for further discussion of the picture: Was it a Whit Walk?. And if you know more about the picture and want to add to the information above, please email Dudley Mall using the link below, and we'll pass your information to Philip for possible incorporation. Thank you!

Copyright © 2002 DudleyMall.

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Email DudleyMall at: dudleymall@dudleymall.co.uk    Date reviewed: 18/4/2003
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