It was a bright and colourful day in Portchester in Saturday when thousands turned out to attend the annual gala. The procession of dazzling and colourful floats started off at Portchester Community Centre and finished at the castle. There was a host of things for the family to do at the Gala, which was set in the grounds of Portchester Castle. There were rides for the children, stalls, refreshments, a train ride and a teddy tombola. In the main arena there were various events taking place throughout the day, including cheerleading, circus skills, the Fareham School of Gymnastics and a performance from the Timestep school of dance.
Katie Bayley, one of the organisers of the Portchester Gala said it had been a big success. “It’s just a good community event” she said. “It’s about trying to encourage people to come down and take part…The procession went really well. It’s been really busy and we have got lots for the kids to do. We just want to get everyone involved”.
Many families had a picnic on the field as the sunshine dipped in and out from behind the clouds. Barbi King, 33, from Froxfield Gardens in Portchester, came down to the Gala with her husband Paul, 30, and daughter Evelyn, 15 months. “It’s the first time we have ever been” she said, “It’s quite entertaining for the little ones. She likes to watch what’s going on. We watched the floats go past, it was quite good.”
Chris Barrow, 33, from Gosport Road in Stubbington, took his four-year-old daughter Lily-Mae down to the Gala. But it was a surprise for Chris, who didn’t know the Gala was taking place until he turned up. “Its was a pleasant surprise to see that it was on. My little one enjoys the rides. It seems like lots of fun. There seem to be quite a lot of people here.”
Maxine Noyce, 48, from Portsdown Road in Portchester, brought her two-year-old grandson Alfie Plested down. She adds “I always think it’s quite nice. It’s a great family day out. It’s good for all ages”