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INTERVIEWS and PHOTOS: Estimated crowds of 20,000 enjoy Armed Forces Day celebrations on Morecambe Promenade

Armed Forces Day celebrations in Morecambe including an RAF parachute display over the Bay pulled an estimated 20,000 people to the town.

Huge crowds gathered on the Promenade on Saturday in sunny weather to enjoy a day of events to celebrate the Armed Forces and blue light services.

Highlights of the day included a display by the RAF Falcons military parachute display team, who delighted onlookers who lined the Promenade and packed into the area close to the Stone Jetty.

The Falcons team landed on Morecambe South beach close to the Midland hotel following the breathtaking aerial display on Saturday morning.

An Armed Forces Day parade then marched from the Platform along the Promenade to the Bay Arena.

D-Day veterans from our local area, including Geoff Hogg, Richard Brock and Norman Smith, were given a salute as the parade passed.

Amanda Parker, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, presented Mr Smith with a set of medals to replace the originals which were lost.

Craig Harrison, Armed Forces Champion for Lancashire Adult Learning, spoke to Beyond Radio's Vanessa Ramsden about how Norman 'got his medals back'.

There were also performances by the Morecambe Brass Band and Flookburgh Band, a drumhead service, and songs from The Lancashire Belle for serving personnel and veterans in the Platform. 

Many Armed Forces organisations and representatives of the emergency services attended the day, meeting the public at more than 30 stalls stretching from the Midland to Northumberland Street.

Beyond Radio was honoured to be part of the Armed Forces Day, represented by Greg Lambert, Vanessa Ramsden, Sam Cragg, Luke Edmondson, Luke Stutchbury, Mateo Sanderson, Roy Ward, Joshua Brandwood, Chris Brookbanks and Beyond Bear.

Greg made announcements on the day and also conducted live interviews with the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, and Morecambe Paralympic wheelchair rugby gold medallist Stuart Robinson MBE (pictured below, centre) who became a world class wheelchair athlete after losing both his legs while serving for the Armed Forces in Afghanistan.

Greg also read a eulogy and led a minute's applause in tribute to Squadron Leader Mark Long (pictured below) of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) who was killed when his Spitfire plane crashed near RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire in May.

The BBMF flight, featuring the Lancaster Bomber, was due to appear at the Morecambe Armed Forces Day but has been grounded due to an investigation into Squadron Leader Long's death.

Vanessa Ramsden and Luke Stutchbury also interviewed some of the people attending Armed Forces Day.

LISTEN to Tony Noble from Morecambe Brass Band

LISTEN to 99-year-old D-Day veteran Geoff Hogg

LISTEN to Councillor Martin Bottoms

LISTEN to the Murphy's Army team

Here are more photos from Lancaster & Morecambe District Armed Forces Day. You can find more photos and videos at the Beyond Radio Facebook page.

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