A CRY of “for God, England and St George” was met with rapturous applause as Morley’s St George’s Day parade got underway.
Thousands of people lined the streets to see around 800 people parade through the town’s streets for the annual celebration of all things English, led by St George and his stead.
The Leeds Branch of the Royal Society of St George has been organising an annual Sunday St George’s Day parade and fun day since 2005, just one of many events taking place to celebrate the country’s patron saint.
Coun Bob Gettings, chairman of the branch, said: “This is the largest community event in the north of England, and a celebration of Englishness. It’s not nationalistic, but celebrates the best qualities of the country we live in, fair play, and the friendliness of English people.”
Musicians from the Yorkshire Volunteer Band were the first to take march following St George, and among those receiving the biggest cheers were The Rapide Brothers clowns and riders from Leeds Allstars Scooter Club.
Among the many groups and organisations parading were scouting and girl guiding groups, standard bearers from the Royal British Legion and Morley Bluebells majorettes.
The Mayor of Morley, Coun Tom Leadley, was joined by civic dignitaries from across the region and the Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, Major Stan Hardy.
Coun Gettings said: “It’s fantastic to see so many young people taking part, many of whom, the scout and guide leaders, were pupils of mine 20 or 30 years ago. The Deputy Lord Lieutenant was saying how impressed he was that so many young people were taking part.”
And spectators got into the mood as well, dressing up in red and white and waving flags.
Seven-year-old Thomas Maloney, from Dewsbury, came dressed as St George, complete with sword and helmet. His mum Natalie said they looked forward to the event every year.
Graham Poucher took along his daughter Liv, two. He said: “We moved to Morley in 2005 but it’s the first time we’ve come to the parade. This is a great thing on our doorstep to come and see. It’s not every day you see St George in the street - Liv was blown away.”
The parade led to Morley Rugby Club where events included re-enactments in the living history arena, falconry, archery and gala entertainment.
A St George’s Day service will take place at Leeds Minster on Wednesday at 7.30pm.
For more pictures, see tomorrow’s Yorkshire Evening Post.