The children got all new clothes for Easter
I was part of what was Marden Congregational Church and they met in Monkhouse School for quite a few years and then we went to Stephenson Street Congregational Church in North Shields and we started the marches from there.
From what I can remember there was a short service where the mayor and people would speak to you and then we would march out of Northumberland Square, onto Albion Road up past Christchurch and you’d turn right there and then we’d march further on approaching Preston hospital, up Cleveland Road and then we’d turn left at the top of Cleveland Road and go down past Hawkeys Lane, past the memorial and then back into North Shields into the Square. And we would go back to our own churches and I seem to remember we had a short service in there and then everyone was given an orange.
We all made our own way there and there was one chap who had a mini bus, and he used to take a lot of us in the mini bus to the church. The children got all new clothes for Easter. We’d all go shopping up to Newcastle to get our Easter clothes and we’d meet all our friends out in the street you know, “I’ve got this and I’ve got that”, that sort of thing and then we’d all go off marching.
It would be about 1963-64 because I was 15. They had done it for years because before I had actually started marching my mam and dad always took us. We would stand at Christchurch and watch the marching go past. It was really from when I went to Stevenson Street Congregational Church that I did the marching, but before that we didn’t march, we were a very small collection of people at the Marden Congregational Church. The weather was normally quite nice, I can’t remember it ever being rained off.
The big banner was our banner and there was a band played. I can’t remember who, it might have been Salvation Army or a youth band you know playing ahead of you.
After we finished, we always went to my grandma’s for hot cross buns and Easter eggs. As I got older it was always the Spanish City on Good Friday but with friends then as you got a bit older you didn’t need your mam and dad then.
Joan Purves was interviewed as part of the Good Friday Marching project.