Annual Whit walks were introduced in the Sutton-in-Ashfield district on June 10th 1851. A dated hymn paper reveals various Sunday Schools afterwards sang in the Independent Chapel on Whit-Tuesday. General Baptist Chapels added later meetings, before this growing Sutton-in-Ashfield Branch Union gathered upon the Sutton market place from 1860. The Sunday School Union annual report for that year numbers both teachers and scholars, representing Independent, General Baptist, Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist, Reformers, Forest Side Particular Baptists and Porter's Buildings. The officers then constituting the Union were Mr. Hollingsworth, president; Mr. Straw, vice-president; Mr. Elliott, treasurer; Mr. Adin, secretary; the committee being Messrs. Needham, Blaisdell, Bradley, Elliott, Straw, Crompton, Hollingsworth, Scott, Pickard, Wylde, Cartwright, Hayes, Brittain, Carter, Boot, John and James Hayes.
Inclusion in that named committee may well confirm it was Eleazor Boot, our founding Wesleyan, who did start nonconformist Whitmonday walks around Huthwaite. Councillor Alfred Wilson first set a 1933 record from their Sutton Road Church having made 63 appearances in this annual event, equivalent modern day christmas, but which afforded practical gifts of new Sunday best clothing to be proudly shown off. Not to be outdone, our parish church later began separate Whit Tuesday walks around Huthwaite, fully displaying in 1933 an impressively uniformed choir and cross bearers. At least one brass band headed these bannered processions. Hearing them, I joined Huthwaite Silver Prize Band, marching around these streets when all did eventually head back towards a Market Place gathering. Images are loosely ordered by location.
Written 22 Nov 11 Revised 17 Jul 12 © by Gary Elliott