Gallery: Thousands celebrate St George’s Day with parades across Suffolk and north Essex
18:10 27 April 2014
Patriotic beavers, cubs and scouts around Suffolk and north Essex took part in their annual St George’s Day parade.
Crowds lined the streets of Ipswich as hundreds of youngsters from the Wolsey district of Suffolk Scouts celebrated England’s patron saint.
The Cornhill was packed with members of the public who came to see off the procession which was lead by Ipswich mayor, Hamil Clarke.
The procession made its way to St Mary-le-Tower Church, where a service was held after which the scouts marched back to the Cornhill and fell out.
Di Smith, from Wolsey Explorers, described the day as “an occasion when the whole district get together and show the public some community spirit”
In Bury St Edmunds, hundreds of people lined the streets around Angel Hill to watch Scouts, Cubs, Explorer Scouts, Guides and Brownies parade from the Abbey Gardens to St Mary’s Church.
Groups from across Bury St Edmunds District, including outlying towns and villages such as Mildenhall, Thurston, Lakenheath, Ixworth, Red Lodge and Honington, were represented at the event, which culminated in a church service where all members of the Scouting association present took the customary renewal of their vows.
Following the service, St Edmundsbury mayor, Terry Buckle, took the salute on Angel Hill.
Meanwhile in Long Melford, around 600 scouts assembled at the village hall before processing along Hall Street to Holy Trinity Church for their celebratory service.
They were joined by the mayors of Sudbury and Haverhill and other local councillors.
According to John Mullan, chairman of the Sudbury District Scout Council, the annual event has taken place in Long Melford for many years because the church is one of the only buildings in the area large big enough to accommodate all of the scouts.
Yesterday’s parade was made up of 15 groups from the district including Boxford, Hadleigh, Bures, Nayland, Glemsford, Clare and two from Haverhill.
Mr Mullen said: “For from waning, interest in the Scouting movement has been growing each year since 2007 which bucks the national trend for voluntary organisations. It’s wonderful to see the enthusiasm among members and events like this give us a chance to celebrate that.”
People also lined the streets of Saxmundham as a St George’s parade made its way along High Street.
In Colchester, thousands of scouts and guides renewed their Promise at the Castle Bailey.
Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell, who is president of Colchester Scouts, said he was “very proud” at the turnout of around 2,000 scouts and guides which included two of Sir Bob’s grandsons.
Stuart Gibson, district commissioner for Colchester Estuary District Scouts, said the turnout was “phenomenal”.
St George’s Day is an important date in the Scouting calendar as St George is the patron saint of Scouts.