A PARADE that included Scouts, sea and army cadets and students from Five Acres High School made its way through Coleford on Sunday (April 23) to mark St George’s Day.

It was led by parade commander Jordan Terrell of Forest of Dean Sea Cadets and the Gloucester Gladiators band who were playing at the event for the first time.

The parade started at St John’s Church of England Academy and made its way down Bowen’s Hill and along Newland Street to the clock tower where a service was held.

It included Scouts, army cadets and sea cadets and, for the first time, members of the student leadership team at Five Acres High School.

The Mayor of Coleford, Cllr Nick Penny, said the event was established in 2017 “to provide a platform for our many voluntry organisations who provide such valuable opportunities for the young people of the Forest of Dean.”

He opened the event which was attended by the Chair of the Forest Council, Cllr Julia Gooch, her Vice-Chair, Cllr Clive Elsmore and the Mayor of Cinderford, Cllr Roger Sterry.

Cllr Penny told those who had taken part in the parade their immaculate presentation and conduct in the parade did them great credit.

He said: “It was quite spectacular watching you all approach the clock tower and I’m sure my fellow civic leaders who join us this morning would agree.

“This event may be held in Coleford but we must be clear – we bring together groups from across the Forest of Dean and we are particularly pleased to welcome those groups who have travelled from our northern and southern towns and villages.”

Geraint Williams, the pastor of Coleford Baptist – who is Welsh – explained the story of St George and how he became patron saint of England.

Rev Sarah Bick of Mid Wyedean Churches spoke to the large crowd and led the singing of the hymn He Who Would Valiant Be.

Forest Sea Cadets gave a drill displaying showing the ceremonial casing and uncasing of a standard.

Scouts from the youngest Squirrels section – who are aged four to six – to Explorers who are aged between 14 and 18, renewed their Scout Promise.

There were also special awards made to two Cubs and an adult volunteer.

Salish Turner and Harry Fellows of 1st Royal Forest Tuesday Scouts were surprised to be awarded the Chief Scout’s Silver Medal – the highest award for their age group.

They received their awards from district commissioner Mark Stapleton, who also made a special presentation to Melanie Keighley.

Her certificate officiallymarked 10 years’ service with Clearwell and Sling Scouts, although she has been a volunteer with the group for much longer.

Forest Scouts’ president Mr Neal Harden thanked Coleford Town Council and Cllr Penny for hosting the event.

He added: “We do fill the square and its good to see so many young people and adults come out to support the youth of the area.”