Saint’s alive! George returns for patriotic festival celebrations

KNIGHT TIME Tony Stabler with son Alfie Stabler, four, at Stubbington. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (131089-5)
KNIGHT TIME Tony Stabler with son Alfie Stabler, four, at Stubbington. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131089-5)
Picture: Pierandrea Guarnieri

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PATRIOTIC revellers brought St George back to life as people staged events in his honour at the weekend.

Stubbington’s celebrations began on Saturday, with a day-long fair organised by the Crofton Lions organisation.

Among those enjoying the fun was Tony Stabler, pictured above, who dressed as England’s patron saint for the day,

Events began with St George riding into the village’s recreation ground on his trusty steed at midday.

That was followed by medieval re-enactments, Punch and Judy shows, music from a female choir, storytelling and a host of sideshows.

There was also entertainment from bagpipe players, and some Bollywood dancers who added an international flavour.

Lions president Vicky Stabler said: ‘Primarily it’s a community event which we organise so that people locally can come out, get together, and celebrate our patron saint.

‘We do have a charity stall there too, so any money we might make goes to that, but that’s not our main aim.’

She added: ‘We couldn’t have asked for better weather. The skies were blue and the crowds came out.

‘The cadets came along to help out and we had town criers announcing all the different events. It was a really successful day.’

Yesterday saw the Stubbington celebrations continue with a parade through the village.

Meanwhile, in Hayling Island, The Hayling for St George group organised an extravaganza of events.

The entertainment was provided by a free concert on and around the Eastoke Corner Plaza, with all money raised being donated to the Hayling First Responders group.

Carrying on the British theme, the Hayling fair also had a Punch and Judy show. There was other entertainment in the form of Morris dancers, a classic car show and military vehicle display, courtesy of local preservation groups as part of National Drive-it Day.

And then to top the events off, on the Hayling Seaside Railway, passenger trains were hauled by a visiting coal-fired live steam locomotive called Wendy.

Organiser Leah Turner said: ‘The event has gone extraordinarily well, with quite a lot of people on the plaza, as well as the common, and everyone seems to have had a good time.’

The event finished at 6pm with a Sunset Ceremony, played by the HMS Collingwood Volunteer band.