There are very few records about the Good Friday Procession of Witness in North Shields, despite the fact that it’s an annual event which, in its heyday, was quite spectacular and involved huge numbers of people.
The event focussed around Northumberland Square as either a start or finish point. We know that, in the 1960s, around 2,000 children would take part in the march before returning to their own churches to receive an orange as a gift. The significance of the event to the area was underlined by the fact that the groups assembled in Northumberland Square would be addressed by civic dignitaries and the local MP before heading off on their procession of witness. This makes it all the more surprising that so few records of the event exist.
As part of our ongoing involvement in the North Shields Heritage Action Zone project, we decided to address this lack of information by capturing the memories of people who actually took part in these marches either as children or adults. It has been a really interesting and enjoyable project to work on and we hope you enjoy reading their stories.