As the industrial conurbation that was Manchester and Salford began to decay by the middle of the 20th century, to be replaced by new housing and industrial units, Lowry moved from the teaming street scenes that had dominated his vision through the 1920s and 1930s to concentrate on the groups of people who were born, lived and died within the confines of the city. As he commented in an interview with Gerald Cotton and Frank Mullineux 'The strange thing is that when the industrial scene passed out in reality, it passed out of my mind' (J. Sandling and M. Leber, L.S. Lowry The Man and His Art, City of Salford Art Gallery, 1996, p.19).
Throughout the 1950s, Lowry's street scenes become composites of the best-loved areas of the city, recalled from his rent-collecting days, celebrating the life of a tight-knit community in a lighter and more parochial manner. The present work is from a small group of street processions from the mid 1950s, probably depicting a Whit-Walk.