Medals proudly on display for Armed Forces Week

Armed Forces Week was officially started in Blackpool with a ceremony to raise the Armed Forces flag at the town hall. Standard bearers are pictured outside the town hall. BELOW: The Armed Forces flag is raised to join the Union Jack.
Armed Forces Week was officially started in Blackpool with a ceremony to raise the Armed Forces flag at the town hall. Standard bearers are pictured outside the town hall. BELOW: The Armed Forces flag is raised to join the Union Jack.
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Uniforms and medals were proudly on display when the flag was officially raised to begin Armed Forces Week.

War veterans, serving forces personnel and schoolchildren were among those present for the ceremony at Blackpool Town Hall on Monday.

The Armed Forces flag is raised to join the Union Jack.

The Armed Forces flag is raised to join the Union Jack.

The raising of the flag marks the start of a week of events across the resort designed to pay tribute to Britain’s fighting men and women.

Among those in attendance was 90-year-old D-Day veteran Jim Baker, from Hawes Side Lane, in Marton.

He said: “Blackpool always has been number one when it comes to this event.

“They do it so very well here and all the local businesspeople and The Gazette give their services to us, and for that we’re deeply grateful.

Friday evening will see a gala dinner take place at the Norbreck Castle Hotel.

Mr Baker added: “I’m looking forward to the dinner dance, it’s such a wonderful occasion.

“The whole of the Armed Forces are represented there.”

Robert Vaughan, 87, a veteran of the Battle of the Atlantic, was also at the ceremony.

Mr Vaughan, from Oakwood Close, Marton, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic and it’s a great occasion to do whatever suits you.

“I’ll be going to the Norbreck Castle Hotel and I also enjoy going to the carvery at Coral Island.”

Local schoolchildren will experience wartime cinema over the next four days at the Odeon on Rigby Road in a project called Going To The Flicks.

Children from Weeton Primary School carried the flag as part of the ceremony.

Around 90 per cent of the school’s intake comes from forces families at the nearby Weeton Barracks.

Headteacher Anthony Goth said: “For us Armed Forces Week is a high priority.

“It’s a chance for people in the community to realise the sacrifices that soldiers and their families are making too.”

Ten-year-old Milly Lithgoe, a pupil at the school, said: “I’m quite happy because tomorrow we’re going to the flicks.”

Daniel Sharp, 10, added: “I enjoyed carrying the flag and I’m looking forward to going to the cinema too.”

Ron Bell, chairman of the Fylde Ex-Services Liaison Committee (FESLC), is one of those responsible for organising the coming week’s events.

He said: “It was nice to see the children from Weeton and the serving families.

“We had a nice speech from the leader of the council and the flag is now flying proudly over the Town Hall.

“Through the council, FESLC and the support of local businesses, we’ve managed to put on an excellent standard of activities.

“It’s been a real challenge but a real success story, and it’s gone very well.”

Armed Forces Week events

The following events are taking place today as part of Armed Forces Week.

Holders of veterans badges and current serving forces personnel can enjoy 50 per cent off food at Revolution, on Market Street, with 1940s singer Lille De Carlo performing from 6pm.

Grosvenor G Casinos, on South Promenade, is offering tea and tunes, with entertainment courtesy of wartime singer Maddie Brown, from 1.30pm.

The event is free to veteran badge holders and serving forces personnel on production of MOD 90, plus one free guest. All other guests will be charged a nominal fee of £5.

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