Hospital Parades

In the days before the National Health Service, hospitals were dependent on donations, bequests and charity for funding. The village of Ecclesfield played its part in this fundraising with an annual hospital parade, which was a feature of the village for decades. The first parade was held in the 1890s and the last in 1936. The event was held on the Saturday of the third weekend after Whitsuntide.

Ecclesfield Hospital Parade - Elephant
Photograph Cyril Slinn

The floats were assembled by teams from the different neighbourhoods of the village. There was a great amount of friendly rivalry among the participants and preparations were made in great secrecy. Most builders weren't above spying on their rivals to try to pinch their ideas.

The creations, such as this elephant, seen here in Church Street, were made on a wire frame and then covered with a mixture of paper and flour paste

 

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