Marching bands, Scottish pipers, majorettes and Second World War troop carriers all on display as Stevenage and North Herts celebrates armed forces day in style

Stevenage army cadets with the town's mayor Cllr John Lloyd and Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland. Pic

Stevenage army cadets with the town's mayor Cllr John Lloyd and Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland. Picture: Pat Jeffery. - Credit: Archant

Veterans, cadets, dignitaries and councillors were among those who turned out for ceremonies to mark the annual celebration of Armed Forces Day across Stevenage and North Herts on Saturday.

Dancing to the piper’s tune was the order of the day in Stevenage on Saturday as armed forces veterans, cadets and Royal British Legion members gathered in the Town Square.

The highlight of the event was ex-British Army Pipe Major Hamish Macleod’s bagpipe playing which got passers by clapping, sea cadets dancing and even RBL veterans doing a highland fling in the square.

Town mayor John Lloyd, who is also vice chair at the Legion’s branch, gave the sea cadets a lesson in how to buff their shoes and there were stalls representing the Legion, Stevenage RAFA and forces charities.

The sea cadet band then led the standards on a parade around town.

Veterans, military families and sea and army cadets gathered in Hitchin Market Place for an event organised by the town’s branch of the RBL.

Among the vehicles on display were 75-year-old troop carriers similar to the ones used during the D-Day landings of 1944.

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The flags were also flying high in Letchworth and Baldock on Saturday. After a flag-raising ceremony at 10am in Broadway Gardens, visitors enjoyed displays from the Harpenden Pipe Band, army, sea and air cadets and many more including Letchworth’s very own Crystalites Majorettes.

Younger supporters had a great deal of fun at the attached fair, where distractions included military vehicles, a massive inflatable slide, bungee trampolining and veteran-owned Mike’s Fries.

Military artefacts and poppy merchandise were available for the public to peruse, and a group from the Imperial War Museum Duxford also attended, bring a 60-year-old Bedford Green Goddess fire tender.

The Riders branch of the RBL attended both the Letchworth and Baldock events on their motorcycles, flags waving and music playing, and helped spread the word of the Legion’s welfare and social activities.