Thursday, April 24, 2008

I needn't have fretted

By ecky thump. Morley, where I was brought up as a lad,  has been hailed as the most patriotic town in England after holding its best ever celebrations for St George's Day.

Not content with flying the flag for just one day, an entire weekend was given over this year to celebrating England's national day.

The programme of events alone stretched to three pages long, and 10,000 were distributed to schools, shops and homes to encourage people to join the show of patriotism.

In Scatcherd Park, the England flag flew high, and flowers in the colours of the St George's cross were planted in a nearby flowerbed.

Dance groups and live music entertained shoppers, who braved the unseasonably cold weather to make some outdoor purchases from the many stalls set up by Queen Street traders.

St George

Huge numbers turned out to watch St George leading the parade from the town hall to Morley RFC’s ground where the Sealed Knot held a re-enactment of the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Hundreds of flag-waving cubs, scouts, brownies and guides followed the parade behind representatives from the British Legion, cadet forces and the Sealed Knot.

All the Sunday events were organised by the Royal Society of St George (Leeds Branch) and a group of volunteers.

Joe Tetley, chairman of the Leeds branch of the Society of St George, said Morley was committed to holding the annual festival, which began in the town five years ago and has grown in size every year.

He said: "Irish people go crackers on St Patrick's Day, and the Scottish are the same. It's just a case that we think St George's Day should be celebrated.

"I think people have suddenly realised we don't have a national day, so we have started bothering about it and putting it forward.

"Events like we have had in Morley have really taken off.

"Local people have said it is the biggest event they have seen in Morley since the Queen came in 1954." 

The town was intensely proud of its festival and had resisted offers to move the events to the neighbouring city of Leeds, Mr Tetley added.

"It is a Morley event and it stays in Morley - that is non-negotiable," he said.

PS  Sounds to me like it's  high time that the Queen paid the town another visit.

No comments: