Union Flag flies proud over Blackpool this Armed Forces Week

The Union Flag is flying over Blackpool’s historic Grade II-listed town hall this week as veterans and serving military officers alike commemorate Armed Forces Week.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 3:54 pm

The week-long celebration of the nation’s military heroes began on Monday with the raising of the flag in Talbot Square.

Tomorrow, a service of dedication will be led by the the Fylde Ex-Service Liaison Committee at the arboretum, on Millennium Grove, Moor Park Avenue, from 11am until 12.30pm.

Paul Binns, chairman of the Fylde Ex-servicemen's Liaison Committee, who served for 24 years in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, said: “I think it’s important, not just for military personnel, but for the whole public to remember the fallen on the First and Second World Wars, and the whole idea of Armed Forces Week was to give something back and show our appreciation.

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The Armed Forces Flag is raised at Blackpool Town Hall to mark the start of Armed Forces Week

“It gives veterans a sense that people appreciate their service, and I think it’s quite nice that people do thank the services for all they do. If it wasn’t for our armed forces, we dont know where we'd be.

“It’s good to see all the veterans together with younger members of the armed forces, speaking the same language.

"Sometimes, veterans don’t like speaking about their experiences to anyone other than other veterans. That’s what Armed Forces Week is good for: the veterans joining together with other veterans they haven’t seen in ages. It’s like a reunion where they can speak as kindred spirits.”

Coun Derek Robertson BEM, Blackpool Council’s armed forces champion, said: “Armed Forces Week is celebrated nationwide, and Blackpool itself takes a great interest in our armed forces, both veterans and serving members. Our local football club has connections with the armed forces as well, past and present.

The Armed Forces Flag is raised at Blackpool Town Hall to mark the start of Armed Forces Week

“I think it’s a great thing, being a veteran myself.

“It brings to light that the armed forces do a lot for the people in Blackpool.”

This year Blackpool's Armed Forces Day event will take place on Saturday at the Hangar 42 Spitfire Visitor Centre at Blackpool Airport, Squires Gate Lane, from 10am until 4pm. It will focus on the role of the Royal Air Force in WWII, and the vital part played by ground and air crews serving at RAF Squires Gate.

Coun Robertson added: “I will admit that since the lockdown, Armed Forces Week has not been as lively as it was three years ago, but we can hopefully improve our turnout for next year, with marching bands and soldiers on the Promendade which were sadly missed this year.”

The Armed Forces Flag is raised at Blackpool Town Hall to mark the start of Armed Forces Week