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Biggest and best St Piran's festival raises the bar again

By West Briton  |  Posted: March 08, 2012

  • Sisters Evelyn Daniels, left, and Kym McPolin with their home-made St Piran's hats enjoy their day.

  • The Samba Celtica band entertain the crowds in Tatie Court in Redruth with Latin American rhythms.

  • Six-year-old Shanice proudly waves her St Piran's flag.

  • Henry Biscoe carries the Redruth flag during the parade.

  • St Piran, played by Tony Leamon, leads the parade.

  • A bugle call to start the St Piran's parade from a member of the 32nd Cornwall Regiment of Foot (1808-1815).

  • Pupils from Redruth School parade their black and white banners up Fore Street.

  • Ben from Year 7 at Redruth School carries his banner in the parade.

  • Musicians of all ages from Bagas Crowd play traditional Cornish music to accompany the parade.

  • The head of the parade heads towards the Rugby ground in Redruth. for Julian. Ref : TRGH20120303B-017_C

  • Redruth town crier Allan Jewell, with his unusual St Piran-style sunglasses, at the head of the procession.

  • Pupils from Redruth School parade their black and white St Piran banners along Green Lane.

  • Members of the 32nd Cornwall Regiment of Foot (1808-1815) parade on the pitch at the rugby club.

  • Musicians from the Hornets play traditional Cornish tunes to accompany the parade, followed by youngsters from Redruth RFC.

  • Children from Trewirgie Junior School on the pitch at Redruth RFC for the community singing of Trelawny.

  • Young members of RedYOUth give a performance of street dance during the St Piran's Festival.

  • The girls from RedYOUth give a performance of street dance during the St Piran's Festival in Redruth.

  • The girls from RedYouth give a performance of street dance during the St Piran's Festival in Redruth. for Julian. Ref : TRGH20120303B-003_C

  • Young members of RedYOUth give a performance of street dance during the St Piran's Festival in Redruth.

  • Redruth Town Crier Allan Jewell with his unusual St Piran's style sunglasses. for Julian. Ref : TRGH20120303B-005_C

  • Dressed in black and white, Rosy Hawking, left, and Joan Biscoe look at the St Piran's display in historic Murdoch House in Redruth.

  • Mayor of Redruth Ian Thomas gets ready for the parade's start.

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CORNWALL'S anthem Trelawny rang out from hundreds of throats as Redruth held its St Piran's Day festival.

Black and white flags fluttered in the breeze as young and old sang their hearts out in celebration of all things Cornish, a fitting end to a three-pronged procession that flowed to the Miner's Statue from all corners of the town.

Groups of musicians and marchers arrived from the top and bottom of Fore Street and from Bond Street, banging drums, playing instruments and waving banners.

Three became one as St Piran, played by Tony Leamon, led the full procession from the town centre to the rugby club for a feast of entertainment.

Mr Leamon said: "Mike Chappell led the parade last year as St Piran, but he wasn't too well this year so he gave me the great honour of stepping into his shoes to fill the role.

"I'm a Falmouth boy and I'm so honoured to be playing St Piran, especially in the centre of Redruth."

It was a busy day all around the town.

The Jubilee Hall hosted an arts and crafts fair, and Miners Court hosted a Cornish day and pasty lunch.

Murdoch House staged a display about St Piran plus Cornish poetry from Pol Hodge and Bert Biscoe.

The Cornwall Centre laid on an exhibition all about the history and heritage of Redruth and Cornwall, and CN4C ran a workshop highlighting opportunities for training in the community.

Redruth Radio provided music throughout the day, and there were live singers and bands at venues including the Collins Arms, St Rumon's Club, Gaslights, the Green Room and the Melting Pot.

Entertainment at the rugby club included performances by RedYOUth, Redruth Town Band, Redruth School Choir and the Redruth School Brass Ensemble.

There were also rugby workshops and judo displays.

Ian Thomas, Mayor of Redruth, said he was both a proud and a very happy man.

"We made a very proud boast last year that Redruth would host the biggest St Piran's festival in Cornwall, and likely the world," he said.

"Not only did we see that dream realised in 2011, but this year, 2012, we saw the ambition replicated.

"Who knows? Perhaps we're creating a new tradition right here in the heart of Cornish mining.

"We saw events happening at the top, bottom and middle of the town centre – The Elms, The Cornwall Centre, Murdoch House, Jubilee Hall, Back Lane West and further afield too – and how about the feeder parades, musicians and friends joining us from St Rumon's Gardens, Wesley Chapel and Bond Street parts of town for the en masse procession from the clock tower to the Rugby Ground? That certainly raised our spirits.

"Even St Piran smiled on us and provided the sunshine.

"This has been a great family day out in Redruth, steeped in heritage, with the main focus on our young folk.

"Isn't it grand to see so many of them demonstrating civic pride and joining in on the celebration, the magnificent black and white procession, entertainment and demonstrations?" he said.

"It's been a brilliant community day with so many supporting us, whether it be the pubs and clubs, the traders, business, arts and crafts folk, the rugby club, Redruth Radio, the local musicians and youth groups or just the general public; it's all been really fantastic."

Pupils from Redruth School were among the young people who took part in the day.

The school's head teacher Craig Martin said: "It's very important that young people in Redruth understand their heritage, customs and tradition.

"I'm delighted that our students continue to play an active part in this town's rich and vibrant history."

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