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INTERVIEWS: Morecambe Armed Forces weekend to honour emergency services for first time

The Morecambe Armed Forces weekend will also honour the 'blue light' services this year for the first time ever.

The weekend of events will take place on Saturday  and Sunday (June  24/25) and will include stalls and a parade.

Kris Bishop, chair of the Armed Forces Day, said this year's event will be a National Services Celebration Weekend.

"We feel that we should celebrate the work that all blue light services contribute to each year, especially given the impact of Covid," he said.

"We want to celebrate people that work in the police, fire, ambulance services, and all those that sacrifice to help others.

"It will still very much celebrate the work of the Armed Forces but we do want to involve the blue light services as well."

Kris Bishop is pictured below at the Armed Forces Veterans' Coffee Morning held each month at Morecambe Football Club.

LISTEN to our interviews with Kris Bishop, Dr Graham Blick the vice-chairman of the Morecambe and Heysham branch of the Royal British Legion, and Commander Mark Lister MBE

Both days, working alongside the 'Catch the Wind' kite festival, there will be a series of stalls inside and outside the Platform and at the Bay Arena near Taylor's Funfair.

There will be military, cadet organisations and charity stalls, and local businesses that work in science, engineering and mathematics represented.

The event is free.

On Sunday June 25, a parade will start from the Clock Tower at 11am, and will march to the Bay Arena for a drumhead service.

"We'll have a band, there will be standard bearers, there will be the veterans, and we will also have Lancashire Fire and Rescue, Lancashire Constabulary, the RNLI, coastguard, the hospitals and ambulance service have been invited, and there are many more still to come," said Kris.

"The general public are encouraged to come down and celebrate the work of the Armed Forces and blue light services.

"The sacrifices the veterans have given in the past should be celebrated, and evolving it to include the blue light services, it's a good way to celebrate and make those people feel valued for the work that we appreciate that they do. It's our chance to give back to them for what they do for us."

The weekend will be funded by EDF, the Ministry of Defence, the Labour party, and there is also a grant application to Morecambe Town Council to be determined.

As a separate event, there will also be a Veterans Dining In Night held at Morecambe Football Club on Sunday June 25 from 6.30pm.

The theme will be the 70th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.

There will be presentations on the roles played in the Korean conflict by the HMS Morecambe Bay warship, and actor Sir Michael Caine, who fought in the Korean War, will appear on film. 

There will also be an auction of militaria and a raffle, and proceeds will go towards support of local Armed Forces veterans and their families.

Tickets cost £45 per person which includes a sherry reception. a three-course menu and port.

The event is open to everyone and the dress code is formal evening wear (mess kit/dinner suit/regimental blazer and tie/evening dress) with miniature medals.

Tickets are available to everyone from Morecambe and Heysham Royal British Legion. Email morecambe.rbl@gmail.com

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