HUNDREDS of Scouts filled Bognor Regis town centre for their biggest event of the year.
The parade of the town’s Scouting members stretched beyond the length of the London Road precinct as they took part in their St George’s Day celebration.
Some 500-600 Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Explorers aged from six to 25 turned out for the occasion on Sunday afternoon.
Bognor Regis Scouts’ training manager Wendy Morris led the parade for the first time and praised all those who had taken part.
She told them: “This has probably been the most exciting thing I have done in my life.
“Well done everybody. You have done yourselves and your uniforms, your pack, your troop and your unit very proud.”
She later added: “I love St George’s Day. It’s lovely to see all the Scouting family within the community.
“It shows the strength of Scouting. I told people taking part today they need to look back as we parade along the precinct and see how many of us there are – and we are still growing.
“Today was the first time for our 2nd Felpham pack. But we always need adult leaders. We have a waiting list for Scouts but we need the adults to lead them.
“Within Scouting, we encourage one another and give people the opportunity to do new things.
“Scouting doesn’t ask us to be perfect. It just asks us to do our best.”
The parade left the London Road coach park and proceeded along London Road, into the precinct and the High Street to Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Clarence Road. It was standing room only in the church.
South Bersted was the duty guard for the day and staged a drama which retold the story of St George for modern times.
The parade followed the reverse route back to the coach park about 90 minutes later. Dignitaries inspected the parade from outside the former post office in the High Street.
They included Tim Taylor, Scouting’s county training manager, Bognor Regis town mayor Cllr Phil Woodall and Cllr Brian Knight, chairman of Bersted Parish Council.
Among the standards proudly on show was that for 1st Felpham Sea Scouts, carried for the first time by 12-year-old Daniel Boon on his third parade.
He said: “It was exciting to be the standard bearer. It was heavy but I managed to carry it all right.
“It was nice to see the smiles on all the young children’s faces who were taking part for the first time.
“Today is a proud moment to celebrate the tale of St George, because he was strong and courageous.”
1st Felpham Sea Scouts Leader Chris Broeham was taking part in about his tenth parade.
He said about 16 of its Scouts, 30 Cubs and 12 Beavers were involved in the parade.
“This enables people to see how big Scouting is in the Bognor Regis district and how well supported it is – to see all these children taking part,” he said.