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South Tyneside Celebrates Armed Forces Day

The Mayor and Mayoress pictured with the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Mrs Susan Winfield OBE, Danny Jones from 324 squadron South Shields and Sooty from the Bad-Landers

People turned out in their thousands to support military organisations at South Shields seafront this Sunday (19 June) in South Tyneside.

A military parade and service followed by an action-packed family fun day took place at Bents Park on South Shields seafront as the Borough's communities came together to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

More than 200 motorcyclists kick started the day with a special cavalcade along Sea Road.

Troops then marched into Bents Park where an open air church service, led by Rev Paul Kennedy, was held which ended with a two minute silence and the national anthem.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Alan Smith, and Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Mrs Susan Winfield OBE, carried out the inspection of the troops.

The Bad-Landers also presented the Mayor with the Wreath of Respect, a wreath that commemorates those who died in World War One, which is currently touring the military related events and events in the UK and overseas.

The Mayor said: "It was an honour to represent the Borough at this important annual event which is a fitting tribute to South Tyneside's servicemen and women.

"The Mayoress and I were delighted to see so many people turn out in force to join in with the celebrations and support the armed forces community.

"I was honoured to carry out the inspection of the troops along with the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear and to be presented with the Wreath of Respect commemorating the outbreak of the First World War.

"The day was a great success with a whole host of family entertainment and activities for all ages to enjoy."

The annual event, which is organised by the Bad-Landers Motorcycle Club in partnership with South Tyneside Council, aims to raise funds for military charities and awareness of the vital work carried out by the Armed Forces.

Councillor Ed Malcolm, South Tyneside Council's Armed Forces Champion, said: "Armed Forces Day is a fantastic opportunity for local people to pay tribute to and remember the sacrifices made by our troops.

"This year's event was particularly special as the public were able to view the Wreath of Respect which honours the memories of all those who have given so much in the past 100 years and continue to do so today."

"It was wonderful to see that so many people came along to support worthwhile military causes and show active serving personnel, veterans and their families that we appreciate the work they do."

The Bad-Landers fun day featured a range of entertainment including live music, street entertainers, face painting, a climbing tower and charity stalls. There were also exhibitions of classic cars, scooters, motorbikes and military vehicles.

Joe Fairrie, Chairman of the Bad-Landers, said: "We were honoured to be able to showcase the Wreath of Respect which is a national symbol of the country's remembrance of World War One and all of those who continue to make sacrifices in defence of their county today.

"I am pleased that once again South Tyneside has come out to support our troops past and present in addition to raising vital funds for military charities."

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