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Musical celebration of St George's Day on The Cross ahead of Gloucester Cathedral service

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 23, 2014

By Nick Webster

Wilf and Max

Patriotic pair Wilf Hannis and Max Simms took to the streets of Gloucester to show their love for all things English in celebration of St George’s Day.

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Patriotic pair Wilf Hannis and Max Simms took to the streets of Gloucester to show their love for all things English in celebration of St George’s Day.

The musical duo wanted to encourage shoppers in Gloucester city centre to join them in a sing-a-long of some quintessentially English songs to mark the national day.

They kicked things off with a Vera Lynn classic - the White Cliffs of Dover.

And although it may have been a hard task asking people to join in, plenty of passers-by got into the spirit by joining in with Wilf and Max.

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“We are English and proud to say so,” said former stand up comic Wilf, 68, who also goes by the stage name of Fred the Ted.

“Other nationalities are happy to celebrate their patron saints day and we should be the same.

“We have to watch the Irish having a good time on St Patrick’s Day, but it is not the same for us English.

“We are a bit conservative and don’t want to cause a fuss. It is something we should be proud of, England is a great country.”

Wilf was joined by his playing partner Max who used to be a professional musician.

Max once played alongside Jimmy Ruffin, famous for singing 60s smash hit ‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted’.

“We’ve had a lot of encouragement,” he said.

“I’m not sure everyone realised it is St George’s Day.”

Also taking place to celebrate St George’s Day was a presentation of British Empire Medals at a Gloucester Cathedral service.

Veteran Fred Goode, who gave years of service to the Royal Navy and the Burma Star Association, died before receiving his BEM at 92.

His wife Margaret and stepson Peter Whiles will now collect it on his behalf.

Other awards presented will be the Robert Nairac Award. The honour is given annually by the Gloucestershire branch of the Royal Society of St George in memory of Grenadier Guard Captain Robert Nairac who was murdered by the IRA 21 years ago next month.

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