Money pours in from Emsworth’s rainy celebration

CELEBRATION A spectator gets into the St George's Day spirit by joining the band in a song.  Picture: Steve Reid (121440-887)
CELEBRATION A spectator gets into the St George's Day spirit by joining the band in a song. Picture: Steve Reid (121440-887)
Picture: Isle of Wight Radio/PA Wire

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THE weather may have been awful, but organisers of Emsworth’s St George’s Day celebrations are basking in the success of raising more than £5,000 from the event.

The cash will go to the Royal Artillery Charitable Fund in recognition of the close relationship between Emsworth residents and 47 Royal Artillery, based on nearby Thorney Island,

Councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray, who organised the week-long celebrations – which included a military parade – said he was amazed about how much cash was raised considering the heavy rainfall and freezing temperatures.

‘The weather was appalling, particularly during the parade, and we had to cancel the dragon boat race,’ he said.

‘But what was wonderful was people still turned out – hundreds of them – to show their appreciation.

‘And over the week we raised £5,100 – we normally raise about half that. People were so generous and it spoke volumes.’

The week long celebrations also included sea shanties, history talks, a visit from The Archers’ Charles Collingwood, Last Night of the Proms at St James Church, a quiz night and a curry night.

The street collection on the day of the parade raised £400 and Abdul Ahad, the owner of Spice Village, donated his whole night’s takings from the fundraising evening, adding £1,000 to the total.

Cllr Gibb-Gray said: ‘The whole week was a success.

‘People showed their generosity by putting money in the buckets.

‘Everyone redoubled their efforts this year and I would like to say a particular thank you to Abdul who didn’t just give us the profits but the whole night’s takings.

‘It would have been great to round it off with the dragon boat race but it will happen later in the year and next year it will be part of St George’s week.’

The cheque for the RACF will be presented to Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Crisp, Commander of 47 Regiment.

The charity supports soldiers going through difficult times.