Morley St George's Day Parade 2022: Thousands attend including MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and actor Laurence Fox

It was a chance once more for Morley to showcase its reputation as one of the country’s most patriotic towns as the annual St George’s Day parade returned after a two-year Covid-enforced break.
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Thousands of spectators descended on the south Leeds town to watch the grand parade, led by St George on horseback, as it left Morley Town Hall and marched up to Morley Rugby and Cricket Clubs.

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Following behind were members from various reenactment groups, including from the Royal Armouries, as well as children from local air cadets, rainbows, brownies, guides, cubs, scouts and explorers - who all renewed their promises on the pitch before the national anthem was sung, with the crowd joining in.

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Among the guests were Morley veteran Simon Brown, who was injured in Iraq in 2006 and Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Minister of State for Brexit opportunities, who was invited by Morley MP Andrea Jenkyns.

He called the parade and celebrations an “uplifting, community event”, and said he wished more towns would do the same.

“It’s fascinating. The celebration of saints’ days was something that was taken hugely seriously in the Middle Ages and Knights of the Garter are all arranged around St George and there was a great excitement and festivity.

“And St David’s Day and St Andrew’s Day and St Patrick’s Day of course are big events too so we might as well have a little fun on St George’s Day.”

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He added: “I think people ought to be proud of their country. We’ve done great things over our history, leading country development, democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and that’s something we should celebrate. And several times we’ve saved the world from despotism.”

And Morley did it “brilliantly,” he added. “Absolutely fantastically. It’s just such fun isn’t it. You can’t help but enjoy it.”

Also spotted joining in the festivities was actor Laurence Fox, leader of the Reclaim Party.

He told the Yorkshire Evening Post that it was “great to see a town out in force,” adding: “I think it’s really good to celebrate England and celebrate being English.”

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The Mayor of Morley, Coun Jim Aveyard, praised the town for a “fantastic turn out”.

He said: “We are considered one of the most patriotic towns in the country and we would say we are the most.

“Morley is very proud. You can see by the turnout. It’s basically civic pride. We are proud of our town and rightly so.”

Among those lining the parade route was Janice Howe, 66, of Beeston, who was watching out for various family members taking part and said, for her, it is simply a great community event.

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She said: “It’s a tradition. I’m not a nationalist or anything like that - it’s just nice to see the continuing of a tradition and bringing the community together. Everything that is community-based is important.”

Festivities on the field included a jousting arena, a World War Two display, birds of prey, stalls, ferret racing, rides and games as well as food and drink.

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