RAF Halton celebrates with a freedom parade
Aylesbury turned out in force to thank RAF Halton as the Station celebrated the Freedom of Aylesbury with a parade through the town.
With their bayonets fixed, Queen’s Colour flying, and the Central Band of the Royal Air Force playing, around 70 personnel marched past a large crowd as a Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew gracefully overhead making three passes to the obvious joy of the crowd.
The right to march through the town was granted in October 2010 in recognition of the Station’s service to the local community during times of war and peace.
Aylesbury’s new Town Mayor, Councillor Tuffail Hussain, welcomed the Station Commander and personnel on behalf of the Town Council, and people of Aylesbury, saying: “Please accept this gift as a token of our friendship and appreciation to you, and all the men and women of RAF Halton, for the work you do and the responsibilities you have in the service of our Queen and country.”
Addressing the crowd, former Station Commander, Group Captain Simon Harper, said: “It is a huge privilege to stand before you and to recognise the unique relationship between us and the town of Aylesbury. I am extremely grateful to you, the Councillors, and officials for allowing us to exercise the Freedom of Entry today along with the outstanding Central Band of theRoyal Air Force, and supported by the Dakota. It is one of the highest tributes that you can bestow and I am immensely proud of our enduring and unique relationship and close ties.”
He continued: “RAF Halton has a long and distinguished history and this year we will commemorate our role, 100 years on, when so many menwere trained at Halton for the battlefields of the Western Front. Today we train thousands of Royal Air Force personnel as well as those from the Royal Navy and the Army for their role in Defence. Wherever it may be; deployed in the dust of Southern Afghanistan, operating in the heat of the Middle East or defending the skies above the UK, RAF Halton plays a vital role. Nearly 70 years ago, Lord Trenchard, the founder of the RAF, observed that ‘Halton and the Halton spirit has been a pillar of strength all over the world’. It was true then and it is true today. It is this spirit that you have seen this afternoon in this fantastic parade, and I remain extremely grateful to the people of Aylesbury for the remarkable welcome and your continuing support on this very special afternoon.”
“The right to march through the town was granted in October 2010 in recognition of the Station’s service to the local community during times of war and peace.”