Banbury’s Armed Forces Day celebrations will go-ahead on reduced scale

Banbury’s Armed Forces Day in Banbury on Saturday will go-ahead on a reduced scale after the government decision last week to keep Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in place.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 12:36 pm
The armed forces flag was raised above Banbury Town Hall on Monday to mark the start of Armed Forces Week. Leader of Banbury Town Council and president of the Banbury branch of the Royal British Legion Kieron Mallon was joined by chairman of the Banbury RBL Chris Smithson and others.
Pictured: Colin Garnham-Edge, Cllr Kieron Mallon, bugler Chris Page, bugler Don Claridge. Chris Smithson, bugler Mike Neal, Tony Ingram of Oxford Sea Cadets, and standard bearer Anthony Smith RAFA.
The armed forces flag was raised above Banbury Town Hall on Monday to mark the start of Armed Forces Week. Leader of Banbury Town Council and president of the Banbury branch of the Royal British Legion Kieron Mallon was joined by chairman of the Banbury RBL Chris Smithson and others. Pictured: Colin Garnham-Edge, Cllr Kieron Mallon, bugler Chris Page, bugler Don Claridge. Chris Smithson, bugler Mike Neal, Tony Ingram of Oxford Sea Cadets, and standard bearer Anthony Smith RAFA.

The annual tribute day, to be held in the Market Place between 10am and 2.15pm, is organised by Banbury Town Council and the Royal British Legion.

Early plans included a sea cadet band leading a parade of service men and women, veterans and cadets around town with a salute being taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Tim Stevenson OBE.

A drumhead service would have provided a moving reminder of wartime worship.

Cllr Kieron Mallon, Chris Smithson, Colin Garnham-Edge and Tony Ingram with the standard bearer hidden.

Now, with social distancing still in force and crowd numbers strictly limited, the event has a new look. The parade, drumhead service and cadet marching band have been cancelled.

A meeting on Thursday of organisers and participants decided to limit the event to a market-style series of stalls run by military groups and charities plus a collection of military vehicles.in the Market Place. It will be open to the public between 10.30am and 2.15pm.

The fly past at 2:12pm of Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane fighter planes will go ahead as planned.

Leader of Banbury Town Council Kieron Mallon said: “Following advice from the Environmental Health Department regarding the monitoring of numbers and social distancing there will be a one-way system around the Market Place so that members of the public can safely visit the stalls and inspect the vehicles.

“With the covid situation changing on a daily basis, there will be another meeting on Thursday 24th to decide if further changes are required.

“Armed Forces Week is a national event that starts on Monday 21 June and runs until Armed Forces Day on the 26th. It allows us to show our support for the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force, and the men and women who serve.”