By George! Hayling Island makes plans for patriotic party

ON THE MOVE The 47th Royal Artillery marching through Emsworth at its St George's parade
ON THE MOVE The 47th Royal Artillery marching through Emsworth at its St George's parade
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EMSWORTH has done England proud for the past three years – and now people on Hayling Island want a slice of the action.

The island is set to become a sea of red and white as plans are afoot for a St George’s extravaganza next April.

The centrepiece of the celebrations, called Hayling For St George, will be a charity gala concert at Eastoke Corner, led by HMS Collingwood Volunteer Band.

Islanders want to pull out all the stops as next year will be the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict.

The Mayor of Havant Ken Smith will ask people to join together to say a prayer in memory of all those who fought and died in the conflict.

For the children a patriotic fancy dress competition is being organised and Morris dancing, an English folk dance that is at least half a millennium old, will entertain the crowds.

Organiser Leah Turner, of Green Lane, Hayling, who is a local councillor, wants as many islanders as possible to join in the free event, which will take place on Sunday, April 22.

The event has been organised the day before Emsworth’s celebration so it does not clash.

Mrs Turner got the idea while visiting the event in Emsworth earlier this year.

She said: ‘I thought “if Emsworth can do it, why can’t we?”.

‘It’s just snowballed. It’s amazing to see how many people are so enthusiastic about it.’

Mrs Turner, whose father was naturalised British after his family fled the pogroms in Russia, added: ‘The Irish, the Scottish and the Welsh are so patriotic, but we English tend not to be. It’s wonderful to celebrate all things English. There’s so much to be proud of.’

A charity collection will take place on the day in aid of The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity.

Mrs Turner has applied for a £6,000 community grant from NatWest. If successful the cash will be used to help improve the band area at Eastoke in preparation for the concert.

Hayling is competing against other bids from across the country. visit To vote for Hayling click here. To get involved in the celebrations email or call Mrs Turner on (023) 9246 5400.