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South Tyneside Paying Tribute to Armed Forces

Motorcyclists arriving for previous Armed Forces Day celebrations in South Tyneside.

Thousands of people are expected to turn out in force and show their support for military organisations this Sunday (22 June) in South Tyneside.

The Borough will mark Armed Forces Day with a colourful military parade and service followed by an action-packed family fun day at Bents Park at South Shields seafront.

More than 200 motorcyclists will kick start the day in a special cavalcade from Sunderland, along Sea Road to Bents Park, at around 9.30am, followed by music by 101 Pipe Band and a parade by local uniformed military groups, led by the Band and Bugles of Durham ACF. An open-air church service led by Rev Paul Kennedy, Vicar of St Michael & All Angels Church, will take place at 10.30am.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Fay Cunningham will also be invited to carry out an inspection of the troops. The service will end with two minutes silence and the National Anthem.

The fun day entertainment will include live music, a rock choir, fun fair rides, face painting, a paint ball range, street entertainers and an exhibition of motorbikes, scooters, classic cars and military vehicles. The celebrations will run until 7pm.

This year's event also features a unique exhibition highlighting the role of South Tyneside's services community since World War One.

The annual event, now in its sixth year, is organised by the Bad-Landers Motorcycle Club in partnership with South Tyneside Council and pays tribute to servicemen and women past and present, their families, veterans and cadets. It will also help to raise awareness of the forces community and the sacrifices they make, as well as funds for military charities.

The event is also supported by 205 Battery RA (V), Royal British Legion and Durham Light Infantry Association.

Councillor Ed Malcolm, South Tyneside Council's Armed Forces Champion, said: "Armed Forces Day is a fitting tribute to our brave servicemen and women who proudly serve our country. We want it to be a real celebration.

"This year's event will be even more poignant as we mark the 100th anniversary of World War One. There will be an exhibition of pictures, stories and artefacts celebrating the part South Tyneside played in the 'Great War'. People will also be able to search a database of South Tynesiders who served in the conflict and find out about what is planned locally as part of the centenary celebrations.

"We're keen to encourage the whole community to get involved in the event. It's a real opportunity for people to show their support and respect for troops, both past and present, and to recognise the enormous commitment and sacrifices they make.

"I'm sure all those who join us on Sunday will have a great day. There is plenty of family entertainment on offer and all those who do attend will be helping to support a really worthwhile cause."

A suggested donation of £3 per adult is requested from those attending, who will receive a commemorative wristband. Entry is free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult.

A temporary road closure will be place along Sea Road from around 9.30am to allow armed forces organisations to parade to Bents Park. Signs will be placed along the route.

For further information about Armed Forces Day visit www.southtyneside.info

Note to editors: South Tyneside's Armed Forces Day takes place on Sunday 22nd June to avoid clashing with other events in the North East on national Armed Forces Day, which is Saturday 28 June.

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