Showing posts from July, 2009


The recent art-work 'Procession' by Jeremy Deller is a significant reminder and celebration of the processions that used to be a regular feature of Manchester's civic calendar. Indeed, Deller's banner that headed the procession [now on display at the Cornerhouse] deliberately and kindly imitated the traditional trade union banners now catalogued by the People's History Museum. Deansgate has long been a central feature of processions, its straight length linking the symbols of old power [the Collegiate Church, now Cathedral] with the new [the canals of Castlefield and the railway].

Local elites encouraged civic pride and national patriotism through processions: no birthday of a royal family member or celebration of a naval victory was complete without a procession round the town. Yet the ritual of processions - their banners and their bands - were highly regulated and controlled. The order of the procession was a visual reminder of the order in society: gentlemen and…