HUNDREDS of children took part in the annual St George’s Day parade through Swindon town centre yesterday.

The pupils from Robert Le Kyng Primary School, King William Street Primary School and Drove Primary School started at the Town Hall and were accompanied by a 20ft St George statue which was wheeled through the town, much to shoppers’ amazement.

Along the route, members of the procession, organised by inSwindon, sang Lay Down Your Sword, written especially for the event by Gloucester band Ethemia.

Michaela Mott, who performs with Berny Poulton in the group, said: “It was a brilliant thrill to be part of this event and we are really pleased to have had the opportunity to put the song together and get the support of Swindon’s people as we walked along the streets.”

The statue, kitted out in chain-linked armour featuring the English flag, had to be nimble as it limboed under the Brunel Shopping Centre’s bridge en route to the finish in Wharf Green.

Rev Canon Angela Overton-Benge, who led the parade, said: “St Patrick’s Day and St Andrew’s day get a lot of attention so I think it is important for us to do something unique to honour St George’s Day. I think we’ve all had a lot of fun, especially when St George had to be tipped to get under the tunnel, and it is great to see everyone coming together.”

The children took part in workshops including clay dragon making, maypole dancing and sports activities under the big screen at Wharf Green.

Vicky Plested, King William Street’s deputy headteacher, said: “This is the second year that we have been involved in the parade and it is a real honour for the school.

“It is great for the children to celebrate our heritage and also be a part of a big community activity.”

Rebecca Rowland, manager at inSwindon, said that she hopes that Swindon’s St George’s Day commemorations will continue to grow in the coming years.

She said: “This is something we’ve always done in the five years that I’ve been here and I think it is lovely to see the shoppers and staff from the stores out in the streets paying their respects as the parade makes it’s way round.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had a song put together specifically for the event and I think it was a nice touch.”