Fawley launches Armed Forces Week with family fun day
WARTIME aircraft, military displays and food stalls were just a few of the highlights of Fawley’s popular Armed Forces Day.
Organised by the parish council to celebrate the launch of the nationwide Armed Forces Week, the event returned to Gang Warily on Saturday.
Attended by thousands of people, the event began with a performances from Hampshire Caledonian Pipe Band followed by opening speeches from New Forest East MP Julian Lewis and Hampshire County Councillor Alexis McEvoy.
Visitors enjoyed live music from Nicole Jade, Jus’ Jammin and The Mellowtones as well as a range of stalls, military displays, fairground rides, bouncy castles and a pop-up petting farm.
New attractions this year included a Historic Army Aircraft Flight flying in a Scout AH Mk1, and War and Peace Displays which featured a full-sized replica First World War SE5a.
Unexpected weather put a halt to a planned Hurricane flypast and grounded displays by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Parish council chair Cllr Alan Alvey said: “It was great to see the community come together again and celebrate such a special day. This free-to-enter family event is funded through a range of grants and sponsorship as well as income from trade stands, with any shortfall being met from the Parish Council funds so special thanks go to the Ministry of Defence, county councillor Alexis McEvoy and ExxonMobil for supporting the event.
“I would like to thank all the staff, in particular Kathryn Ashdown our events manager, for their hard work in organising and putting on such a wonderful event. We hope everyone enjoyed it and that we will see you again next year!”
On Monday New Forest District Council chair Cllr Alan O’Sullivan raised the Armed Forces Day flag outside the council's main offices at Appletree Court in Lyndhurst alongside NFDC leader Cllr Edward Heron.
A flag was also raised at the Great Hall in Winchester by cadet corporal Leah Murby and County Youth Orchestra member Luisa Armitage in the presence of military leaders, Hampshire County Council leader Cllr Rob Humby and Rear Admiral Iain Henderson, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant.
To find out about Armed Forces Day events visit www.armedforcesday.org.uk