Historic gala draws crowd to procession

Roger and Pauline Alexander on the Portchester Pirate Trike
Picture: Habibur Rahman (170798-26)
Roger and Pauline Alexander on the Portchester Pirate Trike Picture: Habibur Rahman (170798-26)

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AS the sun beamed down on Portchester Castle, people watched the historic Portchester Gala procession.

The event, which consisted of a carnival procession down Castle Street towards Portchester Castle, dates back more than 100 years.

Enjoying the event are Oscar, three, Barry and Erika Gorman      (170798-35)

Enjoying the event are Oscar, three, Barry and Erika Gorman (170798-35)

With a plethora of exciting arena activities, bands, dancers and displays – all of which were surrounded by stalls – the event was a true family affair.

The gala was officially opened by Portsmouth footballer Raymond Crawford, who has scored more than 300 club goals throughout his career.

The event itself is a staple on the calendar of residents, who flood to the area each and every year.

Steve Bullock, 72, of Castle Street, said: ‘We love having the procession come through each year.

A member of Portchester Youth Theatre (170798-40)

A member of Portchester Youth Theatre (170798-40)

‘We make a real day of it. We put the bunting up around the hedges and have a group of friends come down – we all enjoy the day and then its back to our house for a barbecue later in the evening.

‘I love seeing the bands, and seeing everyone out here for the day; there’s a big community spirit in Castle Street.’

Kerry Benetta added: ‘We come here every year – I used to be part of the procession itself, which was fun.

‘I used to be on the floats, so I always come down here to support it, and I’ll meet some friends along the way.

‘The event itself isn’t quite as big as it used to be, but it is great to see everyone come out and enjoy the day together.’