Great turnout for Armed Forces Day at Page Park
Published on: 03 Aug 2013
PEOPLE from across South Gloucestershire came out in force to honour Britain’s armed forces at a special event at Page Park.
Hundreds lined the streets during Armed Forces Day as a parade of veterans, marching bands, military vehicles, the Salvation Army, air cadets, scouts and Royal British Legion Bikers left Kendall Road and travelled along the High Street to Broad Street and the park.
A drumhead ceremony, performed by Reverend Peter Huzzey, took place in the park before a covenant was signed to show mutual support between the armed forces and civilians.
The voluntary covenant recognises the huge commitment and sacrifices made members of the armed forces past and present.
Representatives from South Gloucestershire, including council leader John Calway and deputy chief executive Dave Perry, took their places beside Air Marshal Simon Bollom, Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Lee and Brigadier Andrew Brown.
Signing on behalf of the Royal Air Force, Air Marshal Bollom said: “The informal backing given by the South Gloucestershire community to the forces throughout the years has been extremely well received.
“We live among you, indeed as part of you, but this formal pledge of support from the community means a tremendous amount to the members of the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force and their families, as they conduct their duties here and in our ongoing operations overseas.”
Cllr Calway, who signed the covenant on behalf of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “We have been supportive of our armed forces for many years in South Gloucestershire and we take pride in recognising their contribution to community life.”
Visitors then enjoyed the many attractions in the park including a bouncy slide, bungee jumping, military vehicle displays and martial arts demonstration.
There were many stalls including Help for Heroes, Friends of Page Park, Staple Hill Royal British Legion, Staple Hill Regeneration Partnership, The Salvation Army, the Pride of Bristol Trust, and The Rifles Care for Casualties and the Bristol branch of the Bristol Normandy Veterans Association.
There are around 1,480 serving military personnel living in South Gloucestershire, with a civilian armed forces population of more than 7,400.