DRUMBEATS and marching feet echoed around Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole at the St George’s Day Scout parades.

Thousands of Scouts of all ages, from the youngest Squirrels to the oldest Explorers, renewed their promises in the traditional parades that took place in all three towns.

Starting in West Cliff Gardens on Sunday morning, more than 1,000 members of scouting groups assembled for the Bournemouth parade.

Bournemouth Echo:

They marched to the sound of two bands that led and followed the parade, as it made its way down to the Lower Gardens, past the Bournemouth International Centre.

Here, district commissioner Michael Miller and Bournemouth mayor Cllr Bob Lawton took the salutes of the passing groups, on their way past the pier.

The parade assembled in front of the bandstand in the gardens, where awards were read out, and the event concluded with a stirring rendition of the national anthem.

Bournemouth Echo:

Commissioner Miller told the Echo it was a “wonderful” turnout from all the groups in the district.

He said: “We’re able to recognise all of their top awards that they can get, so it’s a really nice thing that we can do.”

Cllr Lawton agreed and said: “It’s been really delightful. I was really pleased to take the salute as the Mayor of Bournemouth, it’s been a fantastic occasion.”

Commissioner Miller’s Poole counterpart, District Commissioner Ragen Bartaby, said it was great to see such a range of ages, from Squirrels to Explorers, at the parade in Poole in the afternoon.

Bournemouth Echo:

The rain held off as the hundreds of Scouts marched passed the statue of the founder of the movement, Robert Baden-Powell, on Poole Quay.

Beginning by the RNLI Station, the throng of people marched along within view of Brownsea Island, where Baden-Powell held the very first Scout camp in 1907.

Bournemouth Echo:

Commissioner Bartaby received the salute along with Poole Mayor, Cllr Tony Trent.

Cllr Trent marvelled at the number of scouts in the parade, describing it as “a sea of people”.

Bournemouth Echo:

“It shows that the Scout movement is alive and kicking and has a good future ahead of it and a proud history behind it,” he said.

“I think it’s an excellent movement and one which our world has needed, and still needs, possibly more than ever.”

Hundreds of Scouts also gathered in Christchurch for their parade.