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South Tyneside Celebrates Armed Forces Day

Chairman of the Bad Landers Motorcycle Club, Joe Fairrie with the Mayoress Stella Matthewson, Colonel Jeremy G.W. Feggetter, TD, DL representing the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, and the Mayor, Councillor Fay Cunningham.

Thousands of people turned out in force to pay tribute to military organisations at South Shields seafront at the weekend.

South Tyneside marked 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 yesterday (Sunday 22nd June).

More than 200 motorcyclists kick started the day in a special cavalcade from Sunderland, along Sea Road to Bents Park. This was followed by music by 101 Pipe Band with crowds cheering on a parade by local uniformed military groups led by the Band and Bugles of Durham ACF.

Rev Paul Kennedy, Vicar of St Michael & All Angels Church, led an open-air church service which ended with a two minutes silence and the National Anthem.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Fay Cunningham carried also out an inspection of the troops.

She said: "It was a very proud moment for me to represent the Borough at the Armed Forces event and it was a huge honour to inspect the soldiers.

"The day was a fitting tribute to South Tyneside's servicemen and women and we were delighted to see so many people joining in with the celebrations, supporting and showing respect for our soldiers and recognising the enormous commitment and sacrifices they make. It offered a great day out with a whole host of family entertainment and activities for all ages to enjoy. All in all it was a fantastic event for a really good cause, and has grown to become one of the most popular and poignant events in our annual calendar."

The fun day entertainment included 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. 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 also helps 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.

Joe Fairrie, Chairman of the Bad-Landers, said: "The event is an annual event organised by the Bad-Landers and we always get a huge amount of support from the biking community from around the North East. We have a lot of fun and we also raise a lot of money for the armed forces charities."

For further information about support for Armed Forces in South Tyneside visit www.southtyneside.info/armedforces

Note to editors: South Tyneside's Armed Forces Day took 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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