ST GEORGE’S DAY celebrations hit Huddersfield yesterday.

English patriots, decked out in red and white, packed the Tourist Information Centre for a series of events.

The highlight was a St George-themed poetry competition which was won by 14-year-old Olivia Helliwell, of King James’s School in Almondbury.

The Mayor of Kirklees, Clr Jean Calvert, who judged the competition, also cut a special anniversary cake before meeting children with special needs from Castle Hill School.

She said: “I chose this poem because it tells a bit about the story of St George. The day went very well.”

Meanwhile the Huddersfield Town Crier, Victor Watson, teamed up with St George himself, played by Martin Forrester of the Sealed Knot re-enactment society, to spread the word around the town.

Mr Forrester said: “I wore five stone of armour and carried a sword.

“We went through the town, handing out St George flags. I enjoyed meeting the children and members of the public.

“It was surprising how many people didn’t realise it was St George’s Day. There’s a lot more we could do to celebrate it.”

Margaret Coulson, from the Tourist Information Office, agreed, arguing that April 23 should be a public holiday.

She said: “It would be a great idea, as it’s also Shakespeare’s birthday.

“St George is the patron saint of England. It’s about history, tradition, and fun.”

Huddersfield company Cummins Turbo Technologies also celebrated the day heartily. Members of staff dressed as George and the dragon and there were flags and balloons aplenty.