Hundreds of Scouts from across north east Norfolk put on St George’s Day parade in Cromer
Proud youngsters paraded through a coastal town to celebrate the patron saint of England.
Some 500 members of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers from across north east Norfolk, and their leaders, took part in the annual St George's Day parade in Cromer today before a service at the parish church.
St George is the patron saint of Scouts around the world and the event is always held on the Sunday before St George's Day - April 23.
This year's parade was hosted by 1st Rural (Roughton Mill) Scout Group near Cromer.
Before the parade, leader of the group, Colin Broughton-Begley, said: 'It is an honour and little bit scary to lead the parade.
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'It is a chance to show our pride in the Scouts and what we believe in.'
His son, Russell Broughton-Begley, 12, who is in the 1st Rural (Roughton Mill) Scout Group, said: 'It is a privilege to show what we do. I'm happy to show our badges and uniforms off. Being a Scout means I can make new friends.
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'It is important to represent the group because it means Scouts from across the district can get together and enjoy themselves.'
Participants in the parade came from 15 groups across north east Norfolk and ranged from six to 18-years-old.
The girls and boys from each group each carried their individual flags from the Cadogan Road car park to the parish church.
They followed the 901 Troop Marine Cadets' band, which is based in Winterton, and music included When the Saints Go Marching In and the theme tune from Dad's Army.
Parents, grandparents, shoppers and visitors lined the town centre of Cromer to watch the spectacle.
Keith Savage, who was organising the 901 Troop Marine Cadets, said: 'Scouting is fantastic for young people. It gets kids off the street and gives them a sense of direction, belonging and teamwork.'
Justin Welton, leader from Stalham Sea Scouts, said: 'It is great to see everyone from the district together. It is about everyone coming together to celebrate the patron saint of St George because you don't hear a lot about St George in England.
'It is really important for the Scouts to be visible.'
He added there was a lot of enthusiasm from young people about the Scouting movement across north east Norfolk.
William Syrett, 67, from Ingworth, a former Cub leader at Aylsham, was watching his 11-year-old granddaughter in the parade.
She was part of the Buxton Sea Scouts.
Mr Syrett said: 'It is important for the children to acknowledge St George's Day because that is something we don't acknowledge in our society very well.
'Scouting gives young people the opportunity to do things outside of school and home.
'It is lovely to see my granddaughter in the parade.'
The church service was watched by town dignitaries including mayor Tony Nash.
He said: 'The parade is excellent. It helps put Cromer on the map. The Scouting movement is valid in today's society because it teaches young people the value of getting involved and gives them self-confidence to deal with life in the future. The event is also demonstrating the value of our history.'
The service was led by Fr Phil Blamire, district chaplain for the north east Norfolk Scouts groups.
He said: 'The parade is the central activity that brings the sectors together across the district. It is our only way of committing ourselves to the value of the Scout movement.'