St George rides again to mark his national day

ARRIVAL Matthew King as St George rides in on Murphy the horse.     Pictures: Paul Jacobs (111435-6)
ARRIVAL Matthew King as St George rides in on Murphy the horse. Pictures: Paul Jacobs (111435-6)

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WAVING a flag, St George made a triumphant entrance on horseback to the festival held in his name on his day.

Matt King from Crofton Riding School played the part of England’s patron saint at the event, organised by the Crofton Lions Club.

SAUSAGES The Punch and Judy show

SAUSAGES The Punch and Judy show

Hundreds of people from across the county gathered at Stubbington Green in Stubbington to mark the group’s fifth annual St George’s Day Festival, with a host of fun and games.

From an official jester, to Punch and Judy, African drummers and medieval re-enactors, as well as a fancy dress competition for the youngsters, there was plenty to keep the punters entertained.

Twins Tom and Josh Sawers, five, both came dressed as St George. Dad Josh Sawers, from Netley, said: ‘I used to go to school in Stubbington and we were looking for something to do for St George’s Day, so this fit the bill perfectly.

‘There’s a great atmosphere and a great vibe and it’s something that we should be getting the children interested in.

‘It’s something that’s important to us as English.’

Chris Barnwell’s daughter Abbie, six came along as a princess. The 35-year-old from Mayflower Close in Stubbington, said: ‘We try to come every year if we can make it.

‘It’s an important day for the English, to have that sense of heritage and sense of pride. All too often the St George’s cross is hijacked by people with malicious intent, but we should celebrate it.’

Reg Norton, chairman of the Crofton Lions, said: ‘It’s been a terrific day and we’re really pleased with how well it’s gone.

‘It’s had the whole community joining in with almost every aspect – schools, pre-schools, shop keepers and many others have chipped in to help make this a proper community festival.’

Ian Nichols, 41, performed as a member of the Wickham Morris dance troupe. He added: ‘It’s great fun and it’s great to celebrate Englishness in a positive way.’