Predictably, Stalybridge’s Whit Walks were affected by the grey weather with most of the showers coming at 2pm. Though higher than Dukinfield’s turnout, there were still fewer onlookers compared with last year. Needless to say, the changeable weather might have put a few people off.
On the 09 June, some of Dukinfield’s churches upheld the tradition of Whit Walking. With June often regarded as a warm month, the weather that Sunday was changeable. At 10am, the blue skies promised some decent weather. By 11am, they turned into a dingy grey.
East of the M60 World Exclusive: images of this year’s Whit Walks in Dukinfield
Dukinfield’s churchgoers were treated to excellent weather for this year’s Procession of Witness. The blistering heat made for conditions more suitable for barbecues instead of brass bands and church banners. For some, this was a nice change from previous walks where wind or rain made the going less easy, more for brollies instead of barbecues. In spite of the sunny conditions, there were few onlookers, most of which concentrated around the Town Hall.
It was also an emotional Whit Walks for St. Luke’s Church’s parishioners. Owing to structural problems affecting the church, a recent quote to arrest the subsidence was deemed beyond the reach of their finances. Therefore, the church will be dissolved by the start of 2013, with this year their last appearance on Whitsuntide.
The Procession of Witness, popularly known as the Whit Walks is a religious occasion celebrating Pentecost, where all churches assemble at a central part of the town centre. Some people may choose to walk with their church, or choose to watch the churches walking and assembling. Each church is led by a brass band. Sometimes, they may opt for a reed band like Dukinfield’s very own Adamson’s Band, or (as seen on the Manchester Whit Walks) bugle bands, which some critics say run counter to tradition.