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Haverhill set to mark Armed Forces Day with a convoy of military vehicles

A convoy of military vehicles will take centre stage when Haverhill Town Council marks Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 27.

John Burns, Mayor of Haverhill, said things would be a little bit different this year.

“In previous years, Armed Forces Day has seen magnificent marching bands and displays, music and dancing on the Market Square,” he said.

Tony Brown's Scammell truck at last year's Armed Forces Day in Haverhill
Tony Brown's Scammell truck at last year's Armed Forces Day in Haverhill

“We obviously couldn’t do the same this year as maintaining appropriate social distance and safety for both spectators and participants would have been impossible.

“We didn’t want the day to go unmarked so we’ve had our thinking caps on and have come up with some great alternatives.

“Haverhill Family History Group and the Royal British Legion have provided invaluable help and we have a programme that we hope the people of Haverhill will really enjoy.”

The focus of the day will be a military vehicle convoy.

Starting at Duddery Hill at midday and following a route that takes in Chivers Road, Withersfield Road and Chalkstone Way, the parade will include such vehicles as American trucks and jeeps, a Second World War Dodge command car and various other armoured cars, and will be tailed by members of the Haverhill Scooter Club beeping their horns.

It is hoped that people will watch the convoy from their houses and gardens and give a friendly cheer, wave or salute as it passes.

Also on Saturday, Haverhill Silver Band has organised its members to perform a virtual rendition of the march Wellington, described by musical director Paul Filby as a ‘real belter’.

He added: “It’s frequently used at the Trooping of the Colour so it seems a very appropriate choice. It will be available on the town council Facebook page on the 27th and on the Silver Band Facebook page from the 28th.”

Providing a party soundtrack, Haverhill’s Disco Kitchen will play a special forces-related set between midday and 2pm.

During the week preceding Armed Forces Day there will be a number of online activities to prepare for and support the activities on the day.

On Monday there will be an official – but socially distanced – flag raising ceremony on Market Square.The council would like people to view the ceremony on its Facebook page later that day, not in person.

Also available during the week will be some of the history and context of the day and how Haverhill fits into the national picture, including a roll call of Haverhill’s service personnel.

Brian and Charmian Thompson, of Haverhill Family History Group, said: “We need to keep our service personnel records up to date, it is important so that future generations can appreciate the role that local people play in the armed forces.

“We would love family and friends who have relatives who are currently or have served in the forces to send us photos and information about their loved ones.”

Send information to haverhill@suffolkfhs.org.uk

See the town council’s Facebook page for more information of all the Armed Forces Day activities.

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