Armed Forces Day 2013

Nottingham recently played host to the fifth Armed Forces Day and as it was right on my doorstep, I decided to head along. It was a fairly overcast day which did eventually brighten. There was a parade heading off from Nottingham Castle towards the Market Square, where I was, a Drumhead Service – which I learned is a church service conducted in the field with drums acting as an altar  -plus a fly past by the Red Arrows and RAF Typhoon aircraft.

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The acoustics at the Market Square were absolutely atrocious so I’m afraid I have no idea what was said during the service. In fact the only things I did hear were some of the choir singing and the National Anthem. Still, that didn’t matter too much as it was the parade and Red Arrows I was really interested in. There was some unintentional drama as well with one of the cadets being stretchered off after apparently fainting and one of the older veterans needing assistance to sit down at one point.

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I then headed over to Victoria Embankment, an easy bus ride away, where there were displays of military hardware such as tanks and helicopters…

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…aerial displays such as this excellent one I was lucky enough to witness by the Royal Air Force Falcons Parachute Display Team…

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…stalls from many organisations that help armed forces personnel such as Help for Heroes, music on lots of different stages, demonstrations from various eras of military might including Vikings, a Victorian era regiment and this rather splendid Harris Hawk.

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There were lots of other things to see and do that I didn’t stick around for, including an “invasion” by the Royal Navy and the concerts that were going on late into the night. It was a good day and very busy (one estimate I heard mentioned 100,000 people descending on the city, which I can well believe), but sound issues at the Market Square aside the crowd was very well managed. Definitely nice to see Nottingham in the news for the right reasons for a change.

Categories: England, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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