RAFA march to annual meeting

Royal Air Force Association march through Blackpool
Royal Air Force Association march through Blackpool
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AN average AGM doesn’t normally involve an impressive parade and marching band through town.

But the spectacular sight was all in aid of the Royal Air Force Association’s annual general meeting in Blackpool this weekend, which saw 600 RAF servicemen and women gather to celebrate their achievements.

The RAFA members took over the Winter Gardens as they spent Saturday discussing their plans for the coming year, followed by an evening of dancing.

Jane Easton, RAFA secretary general, said: “We love coming to Blackpool, we’ve had a great time. We’ve had the joy of speaking to lots of people who have kindly donated to the charity.

“The AGM is a chance to bring everyone together and discuss how we recruit members and do fundraising. We get no Government funding, so have to raise £10m a year, it’s a lot of money.”

Saturday night’s dance featured entertainment from the RAF Regiment Band and 1940s tribute singer Heather Marie McHale.

The members then gathered at Blackpool Cenotaph yesterday morning to pay their respects to those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

The RAF Regiment Band and dozens of standard bearers then marched from the Promenade up to St John’s Square.

Tom Herbert, 85, from Bispham, a standard bearer from the Parachute Regiment, which was invited to join the RAFA parade, said: “It was very good. We had a vicar at the Cenotaph and a few words were said. We had the Last Post and then the National Anthem was sung. I love to march behind a band.”