St George’s Week celebrated in Emsworth

The Portsmouth Festival Choir perform at the Proms held at St James' Church in Emsworth.     'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (111400-5)
The Portsmouth Festival Choir perform at the Proms held at St James' Church in Emsworth. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (111400-5)
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UNION Jack flags were flown high at a Last Night of the Proms concert in celebration of St George’s Week.

More than 100 people joined in with the rousing Land of Hope and Glory chorus of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 at St James Church in Church Path, Emsworth.

The audience also sang along to patriotic Rule Britannia during the finale of the event, organised as part of the town’s annual celebrations.

The fundraiser last night – in aid of the army Benevolent Fund, also known as The Soldier’s Charity – is among a series of events taking place in Emsworth this week.

The audience were treated to performances by members of Portsmouth Festival Choir and friends including Isabel and Grace Howson, Gemma Liu and Sarah Reeves.

Hilary Chaffey, from Southleigh Road, Emsworth, said: ‘It just makes you feel patriotic and it all helps the Army Benevolent Fund.

Ian Frogley, whose wife Carol was director of music for the event, said: ‘I think it’s fantastic. It’s a great way of keeping the community of Emsworth together.’

The concert is among a raft of events taking place in Emsworth this week.

Tomorrow thousands of people are set to line the streets for a grand military parade, two days ahead of St George’s Day.

This year a new St George’s flagpole is ensuring the Union Jack and St George’s Cross is flying high over the town.

Emsworth’s war memorial bus shelter, nest to the flagpole in The Square, had also been restored and has a new sign depicting the crowns of the Army, Royal Navy and RAF.

But the highlight is set to be tomorrow’s parade through the town by soldiers of 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, based at Thorney Island.

The mayor of Havant and commanding officer are due to take the salute.

Havant Borough councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray, who has organised the events, said: ‘We are trying to raise between £3,500 and £4,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund. In 55 minutes during the street collection last year we raised £2,100 for Help For Heroes.

‘We are trying to do something to bring the community together and show our appreciation for the military, who are our neighbours on Thorney Island.

‘It seems absolutely appropriate to some something like this to give people the opportunity to express their gratitude.

‘It’s about celebrating England’s national day as well and using the military as the focus of that.’

The military parade is set to start at 10.30am tomorrow.

St George events

Thursday

10.30am: Military parade.

Roads into the centre of Emsworth due to be shut to traffic from 10am.

The Phoenix singers will perform patriotic songs at Emsworth Community Centre in Church Path.

Emsworth Museum will open with free entry from 10am to 2pm with the exhibition A Pictorial of Living Emsowrth ‘97 by the late Maurice Broomfield.

There will be a collection for the Army Benevolent Fund

Friday

12.30pm: Traditional English lunch at the Brookfield Hotel, Havant Road, Emsworth.

It will be followed by a youth concert at 2.30pm including pupils from Warblington School, Emsworth and St James’ primary schools.

Saturday

7.30pm: George’s Regis Jazz Band playing at Emsworth Comunnity Centre in Church Path