St George on horseback leads festival parade in Leeds town dubbed country's "most patriotic"

THOUSANDS Of people lined the streets of  a Leeds town a councillor has called the most "patriotic in the country"  for the annual parade during St George's Festival weekend.

Children from cubs, scouts, guides and beavers groups from across south Leeds joined former servicemen and civic dignitaries on the parade through Morley town centre on Sunday (April 28).

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

St George on horseback led the parade to Morley rugby and cricket clubs on nearby Scatcherd Lane ahead of a family fun day held at both grounds.

This year is the 125th anniversary of the Royal Society of St George.

Coun Wyn Kidger, chairwoman of the Leeds branch of Royal Society of St George, said the festival was "absolutely brilliant."

Coun Kidger said: "Morley is the most patriotic town in the country without a doubt.

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

"I don't know of any other town where St George leads the parade and the whole town gets involved."

Beer salesman Gavin Shoesmith, 45, of East Ardsley, said "It is a fantastic event. It's very important people support it."

Mr Shoesmith said he also believes Morley is the most patriotic town in the country, adding: "It's great to see so many St George crosses fluttering in the breeze.

"More than 2,000 people come out every year to support this event. People are coming together as a community, it is so well-planned.

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

"It is a very close-knit community in Morley and surrounding towns like Drighlington, Tingley and East Ardsley."

Retired finance officer Richard Dowling, 67, of East Ardsley, was watching his 11-year-old grandson Harry Crisp in the parade.

Mr Dowling said: "It's funny that we don't celebrate our patron saint's day like the Scottish, the Welsh and the Irish do.

"We seem to celebrate St Patrick's Day more than we do St George's Day.

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

"It's patriotic, it's part of our heritage. You have got to be proud of the veterans that are there, it's just a bit of pride."

Leigh Corker, 36, and husband Darren, 47, of Morley were watching their six-year-old daughter daughter Emilee in the parade.

Mr Corker said: "It is good that it gets so many people out. If Morley is seen as the most patriotic town because of it, I don't see that as a bad thing."

Tracy Brown, 46, of Morley was at the event watching her her 12-year-old daughter Matilda and six-year-old son George in the parade.

She said: "It is a really good event, it brings the community together."

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

The St George's Festival parade in Morley

The St George's Festival parade in Morley