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Article date - 12 June 2019
Members of the public, community groups and families are invited to come along to the borough’s green flag award-winning park in Windle for St Helens Armed Forces Day which involves a packed programme of events and entertainment in honour of our Forces community.
The free event – organised by St Helens Council with supported contributions from the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Day Fund - will start at 11:00am, featuring displays from St Helens, Merseyside, Manchester and Lancashire Regiments. An Armed Forces parade led by pipers and drummers will commence at midday.
Other attractions on the day include current and vintage military vehicles; stalls; a funfair; inflatable assault course and a climbing wall – as well as musical performances at the Victoria Park bandstand from the Lancashire Artillery Pipes and Drums, Royal Marines Association Corps of Drums, Local Choirs, and 1940’s entertainer, Goldenage Songbird.
Meanwhile, a ‘Great Get Together’ event hosted by the Friends of Victoria Park in association with St Helens Rotary, will also take place in the park that day, with arts and crafts; musical performances from local bands and vocalists; a Victoria sponge cake competition; bee keeper exhibition; cake decorating; storytelling with Princess Belle; and a penalty shootout, among the entertainment.
St Helens Autism and Asperger’s Society will also be promoting Grow, Sow, Eat - giving members of the public the opportunity to purchase cakes and plants.
Encouraging the public to come out in force to support our local servicemen and women, St Helens Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Lynn Clarke said:
“Throughout history, our borough has been – and still is - home to some truly remarkable figures who have served their country impeccably; from the St Helens Pals of the First World War, to Ray Rush, Harry Howard, and Dave Greenall; three D-Day veterans recently awarded the Legion d’Honneur Medal by the French nation – and of course Colonel Andy Reid who has just been awarded an MBE by The Queen for his services to veterans and people with disabilities.
“This day is about showing our appreciation to people like them who have given their all for our freedom and safety – and also fantastic local organisations such as St Helens R.F.C’s Veterans of the Foundation Team that provide support for veterans and their families through their Armed Forces Breakfast Club.”
Captain Harry Smedley, from the 103 Regiment based at Jubilee Barracks on Prescot Road, added: “Having been involved in the planning of this and previous events, I know the council have put a lot of effort into making this a great event to celebrate with members of the Armed Forces and the cadet associations.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the day and look at some of the modern military vehicles and equipment operated by your local Reserve service men and women, alongside some contemporary vehicles and equipment.
"Those interested in joining the Reserves will also have the opportunity to discuss what opportunities may be open to them should they decide to enlist in their local Reserve unit.”
St Helens Armed Forces Day will take place from 11:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday 22 June.
If you or a family member is a member of the Armed Forces Community and would like to find out more about support available in the St Helens Borough, please search ‘St Helens Armed Forces’ online.
As this year’s event will form part of the Liverpool City Region’s ‘Year of Environment’ recycling points will be on site in the park, and visitors will have the opportunity to upcycle maps that will be given out on the day into a flower at the St Helens Cultural Education Partnership tent.
Interested bakers looking to take part in the Victoria Sponge Cake competition are asked to enter beforehand by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: A selection of photos from last year's event which tied in with the St Helens Borough's 150th anniversary celebrations.