Chelsea Pensioner Michael a big hit at Charfield festival

Gazette Series: SR_130_001     Chelsea Pensioner Michael Allen with Rosemarie Berry at the St John's Church Summer Fete and Flower Festival on Saturday in Charfield (7929764) SR_130_001 Chelsea Pensioner Michael Allen with Rosemarie Berry at the St John's Church Summer Fete and Flower Festival on Saturday in Charfield (7929764)

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.

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