School’s summer parade delights Uckfield shoppers

Traffic stopped in Uckfield High Street on Thursday as children from Holy Cross Primary School celebrated the start of summer with a parade in rain.

They were decked from head to toe in green, wearing masks made of leaves and with flowers in their hair.

Children and staff were cheered by shopkeepers, parents and passers-by as they sang songs during the parade.

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Last year the Church of England primary school, whose motto is ‘First for Dreams’, paraded through the streets to celebrate being rated Good by Ofsted.

The event was such a success that headteacher, Mrs Cathy Dart, decided to hold an annual Green Parade celebrating the coming of summer, similar to the Jack in the Green festival in Hastings.

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And once again there was plenty of support despite the rain, with some Uckfield shoppers slightly surprised to see a whole school of children and staff singing in the streets.

One was heard to say: “Wow! You don’t see that every day.”

Mrs Dart said: “For the second year running it has rained our parade. But a little bit of rain can’t stop Holy Cross from celebrating with a procession and a song.

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“We set the date months ago and promised the children it would go ahead come rain or shine.”

The procession, led by a Year 6 pupil, wearing the handmade head of a wooded man, snaked from the school to the bottom of the High Street where they stopped to sing a few songs, including Sussex By the Sea, accompanied by a traditional melodean player and several tambourine players.

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More than 100 children in the parade, wearing costumes made at home, and masks made by their own hands in school, were delighted to be welcomed by all they met as they made their way up the High Street and back to school with cars stopping to let them cross the road safely.

Mrs Dart said: “I’d like to thank all the drivers who waited patiently while we crossed the road and all the locals and parents who waved and clapped as we passed by. It helped to create a real celebratory feel and made the children feel very special.

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“Even with the rain it was a wonderful afternoon of song, friendship and celebration.”

The parade was rounded off with a singalong and some traditional dancing in the school hall.

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• Thanks to Holy Cross Primary School for the photographs.

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