Military Parade, Followed by Music and Fun in Spice Village, Emsworth.

Under the highly effective management of Councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray, the rain-soaked Central Square of Emsworth became well-prepared for the next major event there, which was to be dedicated to the beginning of the 2012 St. George’s Day’s celebration of our local military contingent – the 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, stationed at their Barracks on the nearby Thorney Island.

Despite all that intense wind and rain and the on-coming closure of all approach roads to the Square, many enthusiastic citizens attended – and eagerly assisted – this preparation, as all the chairs and covers were assembled in the appropriate parts of the Square, for the official welcome and more formal presentations which were to be made by Gerry Shinbart, the Deputy Mayor of Havant, sometime later.

Having arrived at the lower end of Queen Street from their Headquarters, around 100 members of this Regiment – all smartly attired – marched stylishly up to the Square, when they were eagerly greeted by all those present, some time after which they then marched back down again, in order to return to their transport vehicles.

Having been advertised as “Curry, music and fun in the Spice Village restaurant”, the staff of this highly-regarded – centrally-positioned – restaurant, and its owners, then entertained a characteristically full-house of guests to an incredibly lively event, starting at around 7.00pm. The owners had not only volunteered to entertain as many visitors as they needed, in order to provide not just their normally high-quality Indian curries, but had also – as in last year’s similar event – invited the lively local music group, known as Emsworth Community Choir, predominantly in order to totally enthral everyone present. As all those in attendance were enjoying their splendid Indian meals, this eager, 20-strong, group intrigued everyone with some impressive – highly familiar and popular – songs, constantly controlled by another member who was eagerly demonstrating the power and character of his electronic piano. So many of all those present were still enjoying their food and drink – and especially this incredibly lively atmosphere – that they actually contributed their own voices, during most of those stylish songs. All this splendid activity continued to intensely stimulate Councillor Gibb-Gray, who was – at it’s final conclusion – even more delighted, when he was handed a significant cheque by the Owner of Spice Village, as a really impressive, dedicated, contribution to the Royal Artillery Charitable Fund.

John Wheatley