This film is part of Free

Manchester Catholic Orphanage Boys (1901)

Young orphans march through the streets of Edwardian Manchester with heads held high.

Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent


Lavish Whitsuntide processions like this one attracted huge numbers of participants and spectators, and are well represented in the Mitchell and Kenyon collection. Some remarkable close-ups give this film a rich intimacy that sets it apart from similarly themed titles such as Manchester Catholic Whitsuntide Procession, shot three years later.

Catholics made up around a sixth of Manchester's churchgoing population in the Edwardian era and they began to participate in the Whit Walks from the mid-19th century. By the turn of the century their processions, which took place on the Friday and Sunday of the Whit weekend, were a major attraction. (Whit-Monday remained devoted to the Sunday School processions of Protestant denominations.) A contemporary Manchester Evening News article reported that the 'Animated Pictures' screenings at St James's Hall attracted more than 370,000 people over a five-week period.