PICTURE GALLERY: Weekend event celebrating Armed Forces Day in Rushden

Armed Forces Day in Rushden
Armed Forces Day in Rushden

People showed their support as Rushden celebrated its fourth Armed Forces Day by widening it to a weekend event.

The show started on Friday night with Rushden mayor Tracey Smith formally opening the event at Rushden Train Station.

The Armed Forces Day parade in Rushden

The Armed Forces Day parade in Rushden

There were displays by the Maritime Volunteer Service as well as the sea and air cadets, which were attended by many members of the public.

Saturday saw the 3.5 mile honour walk and the 1.5 mile junior jungle trail, both of which were a success and included participation by the Vagabonds walking group.

The parade started at 1pm from Alfred Street Junior School playground and for the first time was led by naval Lieutenant Commander David Pickles, who is from Rushden.

Lt Cdr Pickles, who recently joined the Rushden branch of the Royal British Legion and serves on HMS Queen Elizabeth, said it was a huge honour to be asked to lead the parade and something he felt very proud doing.

His son is a sea cadet with the Rushden detachment.

There was a ‘huge turnout’ for the parade, which also saw the salute taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire and as such swords were drawn and used to salute HM The Queen’s county representative.

The parade included a larger than normal Royal Navy presence, a regular sailor and a regular soldier, together with the Home Guard, veterans, Royal British Legion members, the sea, army and air cadets and for the first time the police cadets.

The sea cadets from Kettering were also on parade pulling their field gun.

Many youth organisations and schools joined the parade, which featured many vintage vehicles, one of which was carrying two ladies dressed up 1940s style.

The parade was led for the first time by Rushden Town Band.

There were many stalls and displays at the railway station and goods yard, which included the Women’s Auxiliary Home Guard where a lot of interest was shown.

The event also included steam train rides laid on at the station and a Hurricane flypast.

Major (retired) Jake Baker of the Legion’s Rushden branch said: “The organisers of these activities, the Maritime Volunteer Service and the Rushden Historical Transport Society did an excellent job, a testimony to the success of the day.

“On Sunday, a service of remembrance was held at the heritage Church in Rushden attended by many townsfolk and the mayor, to honour and remember those who are no longer with us.”