Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 13:16 UK

Charity St George's festival held


Festival celebrates saint's day

A patriotic boss who gives his staff St George's Day off is launching a three-day charity festival in Lancashire.

Millionaire David Haythornthwaite gives his 120 employees a paid holiday every 23 April - and hopes to encourage other county businesses to do the same.

He hopes to raise £100,000 through events at Lytham Hall including a black tie ball and family fun day.

Mr Haythornthwaite, 55, estimated that up to 1,000 local workers were getting a paid holiday from local businesses.

"Other people tend to celebrate, particularly I suppose we think about the Irish celebrating their holidays more than we do," he told the BBC.

"I think there is a growing sense of feeling around the country that the English should celebrate equally as much."

At the very least, we are hoping 1,000 workers will get a holiday
David Haythornthwaite

Mr Haythornthwaite heads the Tangerine Group, based in Lytham, which makes pet health food and other animal products.

All his employees, including non-English workers, got a paid holiday last year - costing the business about £35,000 - and he has vowed to continue the tradition.

He urged members of the public to "forget the doom and gloom of the recession" and celebrate the day.

"This is massive for the town of Lytham and the interest so far has been phenomenal," Mr Haythornthwaite added.

"At the very least, we are hoping 1,000 workers will get a holiday," he added.

His festival started on Thursday morning with a flag raising and march to the historic Lytham Hall.

Funds raised will go to the Army Benevolent Fund, Derian House Children's Hospice and the businessman's own sports foundation.

It forms part of an ongoing campaign by the Royal Society of St George, of which Mr Haythornthwaite is a member, to gain officially recognition as a national holiday.

Print Sponsor

Village dragons mark saint's day
23 Apr 09 |  Oxfordshire
Staff given St George's day off
22 Apr 08 |  Lancashire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific