Nottingham St George’s Day parade flops despite horse, raffle, disco and bouncy castle

The parade was led by St George on horseback

Nottingham’s Annual St George’s Day parade seemed to flop as the public failed to turn up for the event.

Regulars of the annual St George’s Day parade were disappointed that the parade was smaller and shorter this year.

The parade, which is in its 14th year, organised by the Royal Society of St. George, Radford branch, previously began at the Forest Recreation Ground and proceeded through the city streets with three lorries and a disco.

The traditional Royal Society of St George parade headed by ‘St George’ on horseback starting from Pelham Street parading to the Nottingham Old Market Square.

But this year the procession travelled the short distance from Pelham Street to the Old Market Square.

John Clarke, 58, travelled from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk especially for the parade and was “disappointed” to see that it seemed smaller than last year.

He said: “They don’t do big events for the day in Great Yarmouth really so I thought I would come to Nottingham and visit my sister as this one is normally really big.

“I travelled a long way for this so it was disappointing to see it had been taken down a notch.”

Cath Riley, 63, of Sherwood, added: “It is disappointing but it won’t spoil the day, we will still celebrate afterwards and meet our friends for a drink, it is just a shame that it is more low key this year.

“Last year it was huge, there was crowds and crowds of people down at the Forest rec and it was great, there is quite a lot less people here at the moment.”

Parade organisers had planned a shorter route for this year, starting at Pelham street instead of the Forest Rec, and finishing in Old Market Square.

This was because there weer no funds available for the parade to go along public roads.

Another regular at the parade, Roy Smith, 56, of Bestwood Park said this was his seventh year taking part.

He said: “I love celebrating St George’s Day, it is nice to come out and be patriotic for once and support our country.

While there were no official attendance figures this year, the previous two events attracted between 5,000 and 6,000 people. However, they were both held on a weekend.

The parade organiser and branch secretary for the Royal Society of St. George, Radford branch, Phil Harwood, said: “It is smaller this year, that is due to the fact we raised less money however, we are still expecting big crowds.”

Stuart (Boo) Buxton, who is the chairman of the Royal Society of St. George, Radford branch, added: “I have been doing this since 2003, I used to own the Pheasant Inn in Radford and we started it off there with about 45 people in the first year and every year since then it has just snowballed.

“Although this year is smaller we plan to do it big next year from the Forest Recreation Ground as usual once we have sorted fundraising out.

“We fund everything ourselves and unfortunately we just didn’t get as much backing this year, but we will be back to normal next year. It is a brilliant day of celebration and enjoyment and that is what the day is about – enjoyment.”

Also in attendance was ex-army veterans from the Bulwell Royal British Legion and the Nottingham Robin Hood Rifles.

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