Marchers turn out for Good Friday parade in South Shields

The sun shone down as marchers took to the streets of South Shields to take part in the annual Good Friday parade.

By Verity Ward
Friday, 19 April, 2019, 14:50

The 168th Annual Procession of Witnesses, South Shields Sunday School, weaved its way through the town's streets before a service was held in Market Place.

Groups including Living Waters Church, Westoe Road Baptist church, The Salvation Army, Bethesda Sunday School and the Boys' Brigade, marched past South Shields Town Hall and down Fowler Street, before meeting with members of the The People's Mission Church, who had travelled along Mile End Road.

Marchers making their way back to their churches, past South Shields Town Hall.

On arrival at the Market Place, the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson, addressed the crowds, saying he was particularly delighted to see the involvement of so many young people.

He said: "I am delighted to be here with you all on this special day. My wife and I would like to wish you all a very happy Easter."

A number of hymns were then sung including 'Shine Jesus Shine' and the Easter favourite 'There Is a Green Hill'.

Little Darcie Bridle was all dressed for the occasion wearing her Easter Bonnet,

Marchers from The People's Mission make their way down Mile End Road.

The three-year-old was watching the parade with her siblings Keira, 12, and Jayden, six, plus their grandfather Tony, Scott.

The 70-year-old from Simonside, South Shields, said: "Every year without doubt we come down and watch the parade, it;s just part of Easter isn't it, it has to be done.

"Many moons ago I was a member of the Boys' Brigade, I still have my membership card, but I like to support my friends in Living Waters Church."

Mary Smithson, 80, from Biddick Hall, South Shields, said she likes to hear the bands play her favourite tune of 'John's Brown's Baby'.

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Tony Scott, with grandchildren, Jayden. Darcie and Keira Bridle.

However, she wasn't impressed this year with the state of the town's roads.

She said: "It's a right toe-tapping tune, I just love it, I have so many fond memories of signing it with my family when I was a child.

"There's always one of the groups playing it and I was in luck!

"Mind I was rather disappointed with the mess of the roads around the bottom of Fowler Street, the poor marchers had to avoid metal barriers, street cones, signs and all sorts.£

Prayers took place in the Market Place.

Ted Evans from Marsden, a retired gardener, was also saddened by the works, which are connected to the town's new interchange.

To 78-year-old said: "I know you have to crack eggs before you can make a cake, but it;s not really ideal is it having all the bairns trotting past trenches in the road.

"I can see why the churches would want to stick with the traditional route, and rightly so, but you'd have thought maybe the area could be spruced up a little bit for the Good Friday parade, it happens every year, it's no surprise."

Crowds listening to the service at the Market Place.
Prayers and hymns taking place.