Highland piper saves the day for north Norfolk Scouts St George’s celebrations

A previous year's North East Norfolk Scouts' St George's Day parade.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

A previous year's North East Norfolk Scouts' St George's Day parade. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A Swaffham piper saved the day when a marching band was unable to fulfil its promise to lead an annual parade of 500 Scouts from all over north Norfolk.

A previous year's North East Norfolk Scouts' St George's Day parade.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

A previous year's North East Norfolk Scouts' St George's Day parade. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

With their search to find a last-minute replacement for the band reaching a dead end, the North East Norfolk Scouts district team contacted Dave Harper, a traditional Highland bagpiper who plays with the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, based near RAF Honington, in Suffolk.

Mr Harper, who was the lone piper in the 1997 Edinburgh Tattoo, agreed to help out and, on Sunday, he will be heading up the parade during the Scouts' annual St George's Day celebrations.

Last year's St George's Day celebrations: North East Norfolk Scouts district commissioner Paul Henri

Last year's St George's Day celebrations: North East Norfolk Scouts district commissioner Paul Henriksen (centre) with district chaplain Rev Canon Andrew Bean and Robin Baden Clay, who is the grandson of Scouting founding father Robert Baden Powell. Picture: supplied - Credit: Archant

District secretary Lorraine Henriksen, whose husband Paul is district commissioner, said the team was 'tremendously' grateful to Mr Harper.

'After our arrangements for the inclusion of a marching band fell down, there were many desperate please to find a replacement, so he really saved the day,' she added.


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The event, which is this year being hosted by Sheringham and Beeston Regis Sea Scout Group, will see Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, leaders and supporters set off from Sheringham recreation ground, on Weybourne Road, at 2pm.

Led by Mr Harper, who lives at Pickenham, near Swaffham, and co-ordinated by deputy district commissioner Roger Smith, the parade will pass through a guard of honour formed by flag bearers to St Peter's Church.

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During a service led by district chaplain Paul Cubitt, unit members from more than 40 sections from across the district - which stretches from Blakeney to Mundesley, and inland from Aylsham to Salhouse - will renew their promises.

Taking the salute will be town mayor David Gooch, Norfolk county Scouts representative Jane Warden and Mr Henriksen, who will be presenting the St George flag to the 1st Blakeney and District group, whose leadership team have launched a successful new Scout section, effectively doubling their membership.

Praising the Blakeney team for their efforts, Mr Henriksen said: 'I applaud how well they have pulled together to enable them to increase their numbers and present a balanced and exciting programme for all.'

After the service, the parade will head back to Weybourne Road, where Scouts and their families will be celebrating with a swim at Splash Leisure Centre.

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