It's party time at St Patrick's Day festivities
FOR 14 years 82-year-old Tommy Thornton has looked forward to dressing up in the same eye-catching outfit for Nottingham's St Patrick's Day celebrations.
And he wasn't about to let a drop of rain put him off yesterday.
The Radford man drew smiles all day in a dark green top hat, complete with leprechaun design, and light green jacket and trousers.
He was among a crowd of thousands who gathered in Old Market Square to sing and dance away this year's March 17 landmark.
He said: "I've been living in Nottingham for 50-odd years, and I've been dressing up like this ever since they started the parade.
"What brought me over here was there was no work in Ireland after the war.
"I worked on an oil refinery at the Isle of Grain in Kent. There were 8,000 men on that job, then later I moved up here."
Tommy, originally from Kilkenny, joined the parade into town from The Forest recreation ground, then enjoyed the live music in the square.
He added: "I think people like St Patrick's Day so much because of the company – the welcome everyone gives you.
"There should be things like this for St George's Day – and I'd support it as well.
"People enjoy this event because everyone is happy on St Patrick's Day. The Irish are lovely people."
Also enjoying the atmosphere and in green top hat was Steve Comery, 62, from Bilborough.
He has also joined in for every year the parade has run in Nottingham and his family is originally from an area between Cork and Kerry.
He said: "It was only a small parade when it started.
"I was surprised to see so many people out this morning given the weather, but we've done it in snow and high winds before. We've seen every weather.
"It's worth it because it's just a brilliant day. Everybody gets together. You see people you haven't seen for years."
This year, representatives from County Kerry led the procession and chief marshal was Donal Murphy, a Kerry man now living in the city. Irish ballad group Na Fianna had the job of headlining the festivities in the square.
Also involved were several schools and Nottingham Irish social and dance groups.
Draped in emerald and gold and was Carol Brownlow, 66, from Aspley.
She said: "I come out every St Patrick's Day. I'm not from Ireland. but I just love the dancing.
"I love the way people always make an effort with music and the dresses. I work in the Barnardo's shop in Angel Row and we always decorate the windows."