Music in Hospitals & Care musicians Pam Ward and Paul Cherrington share their song ‘Whitsuntide Clothes’ as they remember this historic tradition. Pam was born and raised in Sheffield and the song is a result of childhood memories:
“In Yorkshire the Whitsuntide holiday was such a big occasion, second only to Christmas for children. At Whitsuntide we were bought new clothes. It was new from top to toe and we felt the bees knees. For many of us it was the only time we did get new clothes rather than hand me downs. We would dress up in the clothes and then go round to neighbours, friends, relatives and say “I’ve come to show you my new clothes” and you’d do a twirl for them and they gave you money. It was great. Then we’d go out on the Whit Walks with all the children dressed up to the nines parading through the streets, Sunday school banners and the brass bands.
All the adults would line the roadside on the way and throw pennies for us as we went along. Then we would all meet together in the local park for a good old sing song round the bandstand. The Whitsuntide holiday is very much a thing of the past now. We think it’s a shame that traditions like these should die out so that is why we wrote the song, to try and keep those memories alive.”
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