CHILDREN’S chests swelled with pride as more than 800 Scouts from across the area marched through Arundel in celebration of St George’s Day over the weekend.
Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers from across the Arundel and Littlehampton district gathered inside the battlements of Arundel Castle on Sunday afternoon (April 27) to celebrate the special day of the organisation’s patron saint.
Arundel’s historic streets came to a standstill as the parade marched out from the castle, along Mill Road and into High Street.
Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch the annual spectacle while cheering the young Scouts on.
Martin Funnell, 4th Littlehampton Scout leader, attended the day. He said: “Everyone is always really proud to be in the parade.
“A lot of the younger children are quite surprised at the size of it. This is one of the only times we really get together to celebrate as a whole district so it’s a really import.
“Thankfully the weather held out, which was really lucky. The support from the crowds in the town was brilliant.”
The District Scout band and the band from Littlehampton Nautical Training Corps unit TS Implacable provided music both up and down the hill of High Street.
The procession moved through Maltravers Street and into London Road before a service was held at Arundel Cathedral.
During the service, youngsters from the 1st Angmering Scouts made a presentation about St George, his heroics and the impact the Scouting patron had on the movement.
The Scouts then reaffirmed their promise before marching out of the cathedral and back through the town.
Martin added: “The march back was a lot less formal.
“Most of the younger children were given St George’s flags to wave as they went back down through the town.
“It was a really happy and exciting atmosphere.”
Martin said that many of those watching the parade were parents.
He added that towards the end of it, he had a pair of American tourists come up to him and congratulate all the Scouts for their march.
“They were really pleased to see that we came out in such force to celebrate St George’s Day,” he said. “It was a spectacle they had not expected to see when they stopped by Arundel for the day.”
The Littlehampton and Arundel District covers ten Scout groups and is made up of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from Ferring, Angmering, East Preston, Rustington, Littlehampton, Arundel, Yapton/Ford and Barnham.
It is also hosts four Explorer units and the District Scout band, as well as the District Active Support unit.
For those wishing to join any of the groups within the area, visit www.al-scouts.org.uk