Blackpool's Royal British Legion blesses its new standard flag

The Blackpool branch of the Royal British Legion held a symbolic event on Sunday as it watched its new standard being blessed.

Tuesday, 15th January 2019, 4:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 3:32 pm
The new standard is brought into St John's church

The Blackpool branch of the Royal British Legion held a symbolic event on Sunday as it watched its new standard being blessed.

The new flag was ‘sworn in’ at St John’s Church in Blackpool during a afternoon ceremony which was attended by legion’s from across the North West as well as Second World War veterans.

Ian Tomlinson, 53, from South Shore, is the deputy standard bearer for Blackpool and carried in the old standard to be laid-up.

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Ian Tomlinson with the Royal British Legion Standard

He said: “The standard is very symbolic for the legion and the old flag has been in use for 30 years so it deserves this sort of event.

Ian, who works at Sainsbury’s in Blackpool, explained that once the old standard touches the altar, its ownership passes over to the church itself where it is laid-up.

He added: “The new standard was blessed by Rev Steve Haskett using the Lord’s Prayer and the Christian Trinity . It is tied in four ribbons and each is pulled off as it is said.”

Second World War veterans from Broughton House on Salford attended the event with more than 50 people watching the standard, which costs £625, being blessed.

Legion's from across the North West attended the ceremony.

Ian’s partner Christine Parry, 70, attended the service with her father’s war medals and said it’s always great to have an opportunity to remember those who have fallen.

She added: “A lot of Royal British Legion’s have closed down so it is important that we are able to keep these sorts of occasions going in Blackpool.”

An after-service meal was held at the Blackpool Royal British Legion Club on King Street.

Veterans from Broughton House in Salford also attended the service.
Standard Bearer Robert Whitehill, Christine Parry and deputy Standard Bearer Ian Tomlinson.