Borough set to turn out in force to honour military heroes

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Thousands of patriotic South Tynesiders are set to turn out in force this weekend to serve up a fitting to the borough’s brave troops both past and present.

South Tyneside will mark Armed Forces Day in style on Sunday with an impressive military parade setting the scene for a fun-paciked day of entertainment for all of the family at Bents Park, on South Shields seafront.

It is a privilege that we can hold these celebrations

Joe Fairrie

An eye-catching cavalcade of over 200 motorcycles and scooters will ride into action to kick off the celebrations as they cruise along Sea Road to Bents Park at around 10am.

At 10.15am troops will then march from Gypsies Green Stadium into Bents Park where an open air church service, led by Rev Kennedy, will be held.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Alan Smith, and Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Mrs Susan Winfield OBE, will be on hand to carry out an inspection of the troops.

The annual event, which is organised by the Bad-Landers Motorcycle Club in partnership with South Tyneside Council, celebrates all things military from servicemen and women past and present to their families, veterans and cadets.

The extravaganza also aim to raise awareness of the vital work carried out by the Armed Forces and raise funds for military charities.

Councillor Ed Malcolm, South Tyneside Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “Armed Forces Day is a positive celebration of our servicemen and women and is a wonderful opportunity to pay our respects and remember the sacrifices made by our troops.

“I would encourage the community to come along and get involved in what promises to be a great family day out, with a fantastic range of activities to enjoy.

“Those who attend will be helping to support a worthwhile cause and show their appreciation for the work the Armed Forces carry out at home and abroad.”

The Bad-Landers fun day officially opens following the service with entertainment including live music, street entertainers, face painting, a climbing tower and charity stalls. There will also be exhibitions of classic cars, scooters, motorbikes and military vehicles.

A suggested donation of £3 per adult is requested from those attending, who will receive a commemorative wristband. Entry is free for children under 14 accompanied by an adult.

Joe Fairrie, Chairman of the Bad-Landers, said: “This will be the eighth year we have held the event with the support of South Tyneside Council. It is a privilege that we can hold these celebrations to show our troops that people value the commitment and dedication of our military, both past and present.

“We hope everyone enjoys a great family day out and that we can raise awareness and vital funds for our Armed Forces to recognise the incredibly important work and sacrifices they undertake to protect and serve our country.”

A temporary road closure will be in place along Sea Road from 10.15am to allow armed forces organisations to parade to Bents park. Signs will be placed along the route.