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Paying Tribute to Armed Forces in South Tyneside

The South Tyneside community turned out in force to pay tribute to military organisations this weekend.

The Borough marked Armed Forces Day with a colourful military parade and service followed by an action packed family fun day at Bents Park on South Shields seafront. The event was organised by the Bad-Landers Motorcycle Club in partnership with South Tyneside Council.

Around 500 motorcyclists kick started the day with a special cavalcade from Sunderland along Sea Road to Bents Park. This was followed by a military parade, an inspection of the troops and an open air church service, which ended with a two minutes silence and the National Anthem.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Olive Punchion was accompanied by the Mayoress of South Tyneside, Mrs Mary French, the Deputy Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear, Colonel Ann Clouston and the High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear, Lt General Robin Vaughan Brims.

The Mayor 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 the wider Armed Forces community, and we were delighted to see so many people turn out in force and join in with the celebrations.

"It has grown to become one of the most popular and poignant events in our annual calendar, giving us all a chance to support and show respect for our soldiers and to recognise the enormous commitment and sacrifices that they make.

"With a wide range of family entertainment and the Bad-Landers' exhibition of bikes, scooters, classic cars and military vehicles, it has been a fantastic event for a great cause."

The fun day included live bands, stalls, face painting, street entertainment, fun fair rides and motorbike and scooter custom shows among the activities and entertainment on offer. There was also an exhibition of motorbikes, scooters, classic cars and military vehicles.

The event was supported by the 205 Battery RA (V), Royal British Legion and Durham Light Infantry Association. Proceeds from the day will go to Support Our Soldiers and other armed forces charities. Following the service, the Bad-Landers Motorcycle Club in conjunction with Arnold Clark, made a special presentation to the Support Our Soldiers charity with the gift of a vehicle to support the volunteers with their work over the next three years.

Organiser Joe Fairrie, of the Bad-Landers Motorcycle Club, said: "It was fantastic to see so many people coming out today to support our Armed Forces. We think there have been more than 7,000 people here today, which is amazing.

"We also always get a huge amount of support from the biking community from around the North East and the money raised on the day goes a long way to supporting military charities. But it's about much more than that. It's about remembering and acknowledging that our armed forces risk their lives to keep us safe."

Councillor Ed Malcolm, Chairman of the South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: "Armed Forces Day helps us to raise awareness of the contribution made by the armed forces community, from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.

"It is a fitting tribute and an ideal opportunity for us all to come together to celebrate our services community and to recognise the commitment and sacrifices that they make."

For further information about South Tyneside Council's support for Armed Forces visit

Notes to Editors:

South Tyneside's Armed Forces Day is held a week earlier to avoid clashing with other events in the North East on national Armed Forces Day, which is Saturday 24 June.


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