Shop owners in Epping are calling on the townspeople to put more effort into celebrating St George’s Day.
Usually a forgotten date in the calendar, St George’s Day often goes by unnoticed, but Epping High Street shop owners are trying to change attitudes towards the day by dressing their shop windows in red and white.
Sally King, manager of Lanes clothes store, who tries to do a St George’s display each year, said:
“Not many people bother with St George's Day, which is really sad. People need to get into the spirit of these things. St Patrick’s Day is celebrated a lot, so why isn't our national day treated the same?"
Della Green of Cook, a food shop in the High Street agreed: “My parents are Irish and St Patrick’s Day is massive for them. I think we should do more for St George’s Day and that’s why we are getting involved. We are English and we need to be more proud of our history.
Staff at charity shop Sue Ryder have been collecting items especially for the day. Sales assistant Debbie Blundell said: “We have been waiting for red and white things to come in to use for the display.
"We always try and do something for the occasion every year because it’s an important tradition. It doesn’t mean much to a lot of people, it’s just one of those days that passes by, but we think it should be celebrated."
Local councillor, Jon Whitehouse was impressed with the effort put in by the shopkeepers but said:
“I think the reason why we don’t celebrate the day so much is to do with the fact that historically many people in England have not felt like their identity is really under threat or that it needs to be asserted.
"However, the fact the day falls on a week-day when everyone is busy working doesn’t help either. People don’t really have time to celebrate.”