RED was the order of the day when Chelsea Pensioner Michael Allen visited Charfield for a festival featuring poppies for a wartime anniversary.

Mr Allen wore the familiar uniform of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where he is a guide, for his visit to St John's church.

The 72-year-old served in the military police with the late husband of Rosemarie Berry, who co-ordinates the fundraising team at the church.

As he also has friends in Chipping Sodbury, Mr Allen combined a visit to them with his VIP role at the festival and summer fete.

Stalls were set up for the event and a flower festival staged in the church, where the poppy theme was chosen to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War One.

Mrs Berry said: "It had rained non-stop in the morning but five minutes before it opened, the sun came out and stayed out for the rest of the day .

"We did very well and raised £1,000. Michael stayed for a couple of hours and chatted to lots of people."

Guide Dogs UK were also a special draw with their puppies and the weekend came to a close with a Songs of Praise service.