YOUNG and old stood together on Saturday night, hats held aloft and flags waving proudly, as Aldershot's very own Proms celebration reached an emotional conclusion.

And as lone organiser Garrison Sgt Maj Graham McNally surveyed all around him in the Maida Gym, Queen's Avenue, he breathed an enormous sigh of relief.

For just a few days earlier, GSM McNally feared that months of hard work were about to be largely wasted as only around 200 tickets had been sold.

He should not have worried. True to form, the great Aldershot public responded in the traditional manner and in the end he had to send out for about 100 extra chairs as more than 450 people crammed in.

"I would like to put on record my thanks to the News and Mail," said GSM McNally.

"The article you ran on Friday helped make all the difference for us. I had to send a party out for extra chairs and everything went off so well.

"It was a superb atmosphere — lots of flag waving, hats in the air and joyous singing; everything you would want it to be."

It is too early to say how much money will be raised for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and the Army Benevolent Fund, plus this year's local charity the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, but GSM McNally also thanked the singers and bands who made it another triumphant night in Aldershot.

The Proms night is an annual fixture in Rushmoor's calendar, and thanks to the success of September 7 it looks set to remain that way.

GSM McNally had set aside two or three hours every working day since February to make the event a success and now he can at last relax.

"I'm sure the Proms will be back next year, although I'm not sure if it will be me who is organising it!

"In the meantime, I would like to thank everyone who helped make this year's night such a success."