Thursday, 24 April 2014

Celebrating St Georges Day, The Patron Saint of England

A Celebratory Flag and Reenactment of  St George on Horseback

Should you happen to take a drive around the Villages of South Buckinghamshire on 23rd April it would not surprise you to see the buildings festooned with Flags and Bunting sporting the Red Cross of St George and England, all ready to celebrate St Georges Day.

A Chilterns Village with Flags Out.

In my home town of Beaconsfield, in one of the wealthiest areas in the country, nothing is ever done to indicate it is St Georges Day, other than the Flag of St George is flown from The Town Hall Flag Pole, just for that day. 

Beaconsfield Town Hall, (Drab at the best of times.)

In 2013 this piece below was posted in the local press.

SAINT George’s Day could receive its own special celebration in Beaconsfield each year if the town council agree on the details.
The Community Safety Committee last week discussed the possibility of holding an evening of events on April 23 to coincide with the day dedicated to England’s patron saint.
It is hoped that Beaconsfield residents can embrace the celebrations in a similar spirit seen for the Queen’s Jubilee and Olympics last year.
However, Cllr Philip Bastiman stressed the importance that any festivities must be coordinated through the church to avoid being seen as a nationalistic "rallying cry".
The Town Hall already flies the St George flag each year on April 23 to mark the occasion.
In actuality, nothing was done in 2013 and this year the council published a statement to the effect the there would be no celebration this year 'due to lack of interest. 
To say that 'festivities' must be 'coordinated through the church to avoid being seen as a nationalistic "rallying cry".' is to my mind, tosh, and just another 'Do Nothing' Council cop out. 
We who are English are proud to be 'English' as are the Scots, Welsh, Irish and Cornish, who are each proud of their heritage and their National Flag and are not 'scared' to go out and celebrate it.
Most Church of England Churches in Beaconsfield and elsewhere already fly the Flag of St George every day of the year. Many Scout and Guide Troops hold a St Georges Day Service in their local churches.
Cub Scouts celebrating St Georges Day
With all of this local intransigence, I decided to combine my Personal Celebration and low key protest by holding a Help for Heroes Fund Raising Day in front of the Town Hall on St Georges Day. 
While standing there, I do not expect people to donate and I enjoy it when passers by stop and chat about the car and anything else without feeling the need to donate. 
I found it amusing as often, people would deliberately change their direction of travel just to avoid making contact with me, including one of our Locally Based County Councillors, who is known to me, but obviously not me to him as I have soon been forgotten, until The County Elections time comes around again.
The Green Goddess decked out in my St Georges Day Flags.
The first lady donator to speak to me actually stopped her car and came over, proud to sport her Large Silk Red Rose of England on her lapel.  Her opinion of the 'Do Nothing' Council was akin to mine and when I pointed out that even the Flag was wrapped around the pole so that it was difficult to see, she gave out a hearty laugh.   
Our Current Prime Minister and Mayor of London wearing their Rose of England with Pride.
Mayor of London with Flag of St George of England.
Back to My Fund Raising Day. 

On Sunday May 25th, Members of the Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 Register are holding our Bi Annual 'All Morgan' Day Car Rally at Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. and this fund raising day was to help promote this day.

 One of the Posters on my car window.

Our Advertisement as it appeared in some Morgan Magazines

To help enhance our Fund Raising Total, I try and do at least one Street Collection so this year I was able to get the Prime Position in Town on St Georges Day - Perfect!
 Finally the Breeze catches my Pole Flags to good effect.

The 'Back Stage' view, showing the Flower Stems from The Beech Tree which were also filling the car during the day (A good Vacuum Cleaning is needed after this) 

With our Olympic 'Mandeville' statue still in situ, I needed to involve it in my Fund Raising showing off well, my Double Tin Baton made for me by my good friend Jim West.

I fund raised for six hours and collected a Magnificent £173.00 from the generous people passing by.

In the evening I was invited by Amanda Baker to continue fund raising by attending the St Georges Day Celebrations at the Pub in one of the nearby Villages. The Jolly Cricketers at Seer Green.

Mine Hosts at the Jolly Cricketers, Chris Lillitou and Amanda Baker

The evening involved me parking the Dressed Up Mog outside and enjoy the Morris Dancing and the speciality of the evening - Pie and Mash

I got in quickly and ordered my Pie and a Pint of St Georges Day Beer to be ready for the Morris Dancing at 8pm..

Sadly, the Rain came in with a vengeance but it did not deter the locals who packed the pub before the two teams of Morris Dancers arrived. 

 One Very Wet Morgan at the Jolly Cricketers.

The Male Dancers were from the 
Datchet Border Morris

The Dancers from Datchet

The Musical Accompaniment
The Ladies team were the 
Tæppa's Tump North West Morris Dancers

The Ladies in Clogs from Taeppas Tump

Relaxation Time after the show.

For me the only thing left to do was to organise the Fund Raising. The head man of datch Morris took over the tin before it was left at the pub for a week. We will see how well we didi there later.

It was a great evening which I am pleased i attended, in a lovely pub serving excellent ales and superb food. The Mog had to leave now as it would take me at least an hour to sort out the car when I arrive home. Hang up the wet flags, Chamois off the rain from the hood and the paintwork. 

St Georges Day 2014 for me was a memorable and very productive day. 

1 comment:

  1. Well done Frank, I think your efforts on St George's Day were superb and I hope that you raised a bit of cash for Help the Heroes.
    I too get very annoyed at the almost total lack of effort by our local Councils in putting on a show for our national saint's day. The trouble is nowadays is the extreme sensitivity against appearing too nationalistic, the Scots and Welsh do much more so why can't we?
    Probably more the vast percentage of UK residents think that the flag is purely a national football symbol and of course many of our new residents from elaewhere on the globe haven't a clue what it represents.
    Everyone now is frightened of being called a racist for demonstrating what I consider to be the right of every Englishman ie to demonstrate pride in his heritage.
    Very well done.
    Chris Gleave