Unsung hero: Sea Sea Lion who helped steer Surbiton festival through choppy waters (From This Is Local London)
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Unsung hero: Sea Sea Lion who helped steer Surbiton festival through choppy waters
5:00am Sunday 6th October 2013 in News
A Surbiton Festival organiser and behind-the-scenes stalwart has been praised for saving the day for performers at this year’s event.
Roger Jones, 75, of Alexandra Drive, has organised the RNLI rally that kicked off the festival for the past seven years, this year raising about £1,000 for the lifeboat group.
And he helped throughout the day on Saturday, finding chairs, tables, and electricity generators – and even directing traffic.
He said: “I ended up directing traffic in Maple Road for 15 minutes after the parade, to help the buses get through.
“My main aim as far as the festival is concerned is to be there to give a hand, to make sure it runs smoothly and easily.
“There are a lot of people doing a lot of hard work at the festival and I am only a small cog in a big wheel.”
Mr Jones has been part of the scouting movement since 1947, and currently serves as president of the 1st Surbiton Sea Lions group.
He is also a warden at St Mark’s Church.
He said: “That is how I really started getting involved in the Surbiton Festival, because I felt that it was necessary for the scout group to be part of it.
“What I get out of scouting is seeing young people grow up to be useful citizens and to be responsible citizens.
“It is nice when you get people who you have had as scouts bring their children and say, ‘My children want to join your group’.
“I joined as a sea scout when I was 10 and that is what started me off.”
Surbiton Festival committee chairman Bob Noble said: “We had loads of issues with power for the stages. He would say, ‘Leave it to me’, and he was back in five minutes in his car with two generators from somewhere.
“He was just brilliant. You need people like that around who, instead of panicking, they go and solve the problem. Despite the fact that last year he said he would never do it again, he was back this year.
“The RNLI regatta would not have happened this year or last year if he hadn’t really pushed it.”
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