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Saturday, 25 April 2015

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St George's day celebrations in Ulverston

A BRAVE knight, a damsel in distress and a not-so-ferocious looking dragon told the tale of England’s patron saint to crowds of amazed onlookers in Ulverston over the weekend.

Hundreds of residents lined the streets of Ulverston on Saturday for the town’s annual pageant.

Face painting, balloon modelling and market stalls were just some of the fun activities scores of families enjoyed in the warm sunshine.

Meanwhile, Barrow marked England’s patron saint with a parade through the town, organised by the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment Association.

The main attraction in Ulverston was a group of street theatre performers in Market Street. Residents looked on as they re-enacted the legend of how St George defeated the dragon.

During the performance, the brave knight, played by 21-year-old James Farrow, rescued a kidnapped princess from his nemesis Baron Hardup and his evil henchmen.

To the jubilant cheers of the crowd, St George then slayed the dragon, with the help of dozens of children and their very own sword balloons.

Mr Farrow, a former Ulverston Victoria High School pupil, said: “I’ve played St George for a few years. I really enjoy it as it is a great celebration.

“I think everyone loves a bit of pantomime. It’s something that brings out the whole community.”

Ulverston estate agent, Ralph Spours, played the role of Baron Hardup, and said the turnout to the pageant was one of the best he had seen. He said: “The children love it but the parents love it too. It’s a very, very English tradition.

“It’s great to see and hear the reception of the kids. There’s always a wonderful atmosphere.

“St George never came to England but he would be proud of all this.”

There was live music throughout the day, with Blast Furness adding to the carnival mood.

Timba player, Patricia Kirkland said the pageant’s popularity made it a firm fixture on the events calendar for the band.

She said: “We do the St George’s festival every year. We just love performing here.

“The turnout has been great which is brilliant because it was supposed to rain. It’s a good job the weatherman was wrong.”

In Barrow, veterans, drummers and dignitaries marched from Barrow Town Hall to St George’s Church, with servicemen and women, past and present, travelling from as far away as Morecambe and Fleetwood to attend the procession.

Red roses were presented by the mayor of Barrow, Colin Thomson, to 16 standard bearers, who then led the parade to a special church service.

Major Ben Casey, of the Duke of Lancaster’s Association, said it was important people celebrated the English tradition.

The 67-year-old Barrovian said: “There has been a good turnout and it is a nice thing to see the English flag on the town hall. They weren’t too fast at taking it down after St George’s Day.

“It is a regimental celebration. Barrow always puts on a good parade.”

After the service, veterans, cadets and their families enjoyed a gathering at the Royal British Legion in Holker Street.


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