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St George's Day, Punch & Judy and Morris Dancers in Pinner
I thought it was time to give my home village of Pinner another mention. Although it is more like a suburb of London these days, it still retains a community feel. A reminder of this is when we celebrate St George's Day in our own inimitable fashion.
Pinner's history dates back several hundred years to when the village was mentioned in The Domesday Book. Any visitor to our High Street cannot fail to miss the parish church of St John the Baptist and records show that the building's main structure was constructed in the early 14th century, with later additions in the 15th and 19th centuries.
This year we will mark England's patron saint's day on 21 April when the High Street will again be closed to traffic from 12.30pm. The weekly Farmers' Market will take place in the car park of the Queen's Head, and will run into the afternoon, whilst inside the pub, and in the neighbouring Friends restaurant you can treat yourself to a traditional English lunch, washed down by local ales and wines.
The mayor, other local dignitaries and District Scouts will arrive soon after 1pm and the campanologists will ring the church bells until 2pm; visitors will be offered an opportunity to climb up to the Ringing Chamber and see how it is done.
Further events during the afternoon will include two Punch & Judy shows and two performances by the Merrydown Morris Dancers, the same troupe that danced before the Queen and Prince Philip when they visited Harrow for the Jubilee celebrations last year.
Some businesses will remain open and live music will be provided by Gemma Turner and The Looters rhythm 'n' blues band. Ye Olde Pinner Village Wheelbarrow Race will again take place between Little Common and the top of the High Street, with teams of pub staff competing to see who can be the first to the winning post after quaffing quantities of beer at various hostelries along the route. Come along to cheer them along for the fiftieth race, which now dates back to 1963 and is sponsored by PRATS (Pinner Real Ale Tasting Society). The picture below is courtesy of their Facebook page.
The Wheelbarrow Race
Last, but not least, St George and the Stallion will be riding up and down in an attempt to 'slay dragons', well, actually under-eleven-year olds dressed up as those mythical fire breathing monsters. You're welcome to join in and see how we Pinnerites celebrate St George's Day.