THE SIGHT of a dozen or so children and adults loaded into the back of an old army truck may not be the typical image one would associate with England’s patron saint.
But one Ilkeston resident hopes it is the start of a new tradition for the town to celebrate St George’s Day.
Carl Richardson acquired the large military vehicle just before Christmas in an effort to deliver rock salt to eldelry people in the area blighted by the icy conditions last winter.
His plans never came to fruition but he racked his brains to come up with a use for the aging army truck.
“I knew the usual people who organise the St George’s Day parade in Ilkeston weren’t doing it again this year,” he said.
“So I came up with the idea of driving it around and bringing St George’s Day to the town.”
He said, at its most full, the truck had about 17 passengers, young and old, on board, waving the St George’s cross.
Children had fun flying the flag dressed in military fancy dress as the van made its way around Ilkeston, Stanton, Stapleford, Draycott, Giltrbook and Eastwood.
Carl, who organised similar events for the last two Royal Jubilee celebrations, said: “It was great – everyone cheered when they saw us. I like to plant memories in children’s minds that last forever.”
He said he is already getting the ball rolling on plans for next year, planning to drag a 1930s bus he is currently restoring as part of his parade.
Elsewhere in the area, a West Hallam nursery hosted a patriotic party to raise money for a children’s cancer charity.
Children at The Lanes Day Nursery in High Lane Central painted their faces and dressed in red and white to celebrate St George’s Day.
The event raised cash to add to £2,645 children have already raised for research into Neuroblastoma, a cancer affecting children.
The nursery decided to raise the cash after a pupil was diagnosed with the disease last year.
They are hoping to boost the amount with a party celebrating the Royal wedding which is being held today.
Nursery nurse Rebecca Gough, said: “The children really enjoyed themselves and it’s all for a really good cause.
“All the staff put money into the pot that we’d usually spend on Easter eggs to boost the total a bit more. Anyone who’d like to donate is welcome to.”