Tag Archives: Hartley Morris Men

Sun shines on St George’s Day celebrations in Gravesham

Some of the biggest celebrations in England to commemorate Saint George’s Day took place in Gravesham on Tuesday April 23rd. 500 Children from 13 local schools took part in the event which was organised by Cohesion Plus in partnership with Kent Equality Cohesion Council supported by Gravesham Borough Council and Arts Council England. The celebrations aim to celebrate the patron Saint of England and bring together the diverse communities of the borough.

Celebrations began in Gravesend Town Centre with performances from Hartley Morris Men, Premier Brass Band, DDFK Brass Band, Folkin Fusion Drumming Collective, Saint George themed stilt walkers who entertained large crowds and a large scale mobile Dragon.

The highlight of the celebrations was the schools parade which was led by Saint George enacted by Gravesham resident Russel Palmer. They were followed by the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr David Hurley and local dignitaries and Deputy Lord Lieutenants of Kent, Dr. Bhargwara Vasudaven.

The parade made its way from Community Square and continued up Windmill Street eventually making its way through the Thamesgate Shopping Centre arriving back on Community Square. Throughout the parade members of the public waved their flags of Saint George and encouraged the children as the parade went by. Once the parade climaxed on Community Square the 500 school children sang Happy Birthday to HM The Queen to celebrate her 93rd birthday before the flags of Saint George were raised on Community Square.

Gurvinder Sandher, Artistic Director for Cohesion Plus commented “The arts are a great way of bringing communities together and celebrating our shared values. The Saint George’s Day celebrations in Gravesham are a great testament to this. I was especially pleased with the diverse range of artists and communities that took part further underlining the ethos and mission of our organisation. We strive to promote a cohesive and integrated society in Kent and anyone who attended the celebrations would have seen this in action.”

St Georges Day 23rd April

Preparations are now at an advanced stage for some of the biggest Saint George’s celebrations in the South East taking place in Gravesham and Dartford on Saint George’s Day itself Tuesday April 23rd. This year 22 local schools across the 2 boroughs have been taking part in arts workshops run by arts organisation Same Sky in the lead up to the parade and will display what they have made during the parade itself. The ethos of the event is to celebrate diverse England in the context of 2019 and to educate young people about Saint George the patron Saint of England.

Gurvinder Sandher the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented “At a time of great division in our country I believe that it is important that we celebrate events like Saint George’s Day as there is more that bind us together as communities than divides us. I am very proud of what we have achieved over the last 10 years in Gravesham and Dartford with the celebrations and I hope like previous years that the local community will come out and wave the flag of Saint George with pride. The young people from Gravesham and Dartford who will participate in the parade have been working very hard over the past few months in preparation and this is a great example of how the arts can be used to bring people together.”

The celebrations in Gravesham will take place between 10am and 11.30am and in Dartford from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. Entertainment including Big Fish Brass Band, DDFK and Premier Brass Bands, West Hill Morris, Hartley Morris Men, Saint George’s themed Stilt Walkers, a Saint George in full armor and a large scale dragon will feature.

The annual celebrations are organised by Cohesion Plus in partnership Kent Equality Cohesion Council, supported by Gravesham Borough Council, Dartford Borough Council and Arts Council England.