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News 2018

03 Jul

Thousands flock to celebrate Mansfield's Armed Forces Day

Posted On: 03/07/2018 02:39:00

Thousands of people of all ages enjoyed live music, vehicle displays and a Dakota flypast in the sunshine at Mansfield’s Armed Forces Day event on Sunday.

Organised by Mansfield Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Mansfield District Council, and with additional funding from the Ministry of Defence, it was part of a national weekend of events up and down the country to recognise the Armed Forces.

The event started with a parade from the Buttercross to the Market Place led by the Mansfield District Corps of Drums and was officially opened by the Deputy Mayor of Mansfield, Cllr Mick Barton.

Cllr Sean McCallum, the council’s Armed Forces Champion, who is a veteran of the Iraq War and set up the Mansfield & Ashfield Veterans Breakfast Club in 2016, also attended with a stall promoting the club to veterans. 

Among the many highlights was live music from The Moonshiners and The Cherry Belles with many people singing and dancing while others waved flags, at the event which provided an opportunity for people to show their appreciation of servicemen and women, past and present. 

The crowds looked up to the clear blue skies as a Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight roared low over the town centre.

The town centre footfall on Sunday was up 16.4 per cent compared to last year's Armed Forces Day event, and up 40 per cent compared to a typical Sunday. 

Representatives from all of the Armed Forces, along with Help For Heroes, the Royal British Legion, local cadets and police cadets, attended the event which also had free children’s activities, face painting and a re-enactment of a First World War trench.

Many people knitted a poppy, which will go towards creating an impressive display on the Old Town Hall in time for this year’s Remembrance Sunday parade. Visitors also shared their own personal tributes to our Armed Forces on a giant heart.

Cllr Barton said: “Sunday was a brilliant day out in the sunshine for all the family. It was fantastic to see so many people turn out to support past and present members of the Armed Forces in Mansfield and I received many positive comments from the stallholders and visitors I spoke to.  

“I was particularly pleased to see so many young people there, including cadets marching alongside the veterans.”

Sue Rogers, from Mansfield BID, said: "We tried to organise it so that there was something for everyone - and the great feedback we are getting suggests that we got it right. It was fantastic to see so many people in the town centre and enjoying themselves. 

"The best bit for many people was the flypast from the Dakota, while others loved the parade and others liked the food and the music. It was a fantastic atmosphere. Mansfield people really came together to say thank you to the Armed Forces, past and present."