Such a fine way to celebrate cen­te­nary

Forces pa­rade marks 100 years of RAF Northolt

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

THOU­SANDS lined the streets of Uxbridge to celebrate 100 years of RAF Northolt.

The Free­dom of Hilling­don pa­rade marched through Uxbridge High Street on Mon­day (June 22) to mark the mil­i­tary air­field’s cen­te­nary.

The Cen­tral Band of the Royal Air Force and a full Guard of Hon­our, pro­vided by the Queen’s Colour Squadron, took part in the “spec­tac­u­lar and colour­ful event”.

A to­tal of 170 armed ser­vice per­son­nel were cheered on by crowds of res­i­dents, Armed Forces vet­er­ans, and politi­cians.

Past and present Uxbridge and South Ruis­lip MPs, John Ran­dall and Boris John­son, Leader of Hilling­don Coun­cil, Ray Pud­di­foot, and Par­a­lympic eques­trian Natasha Baker could be seen ad­mir­ing the show.

Cllr Ray Pud­di­foot said: “It was fan­tas­tic to see so many peo­ple at the Free­dom of Hilling­don Pa­rade. The com­mu­nity re­ally came to­gether to celebrate the role RAF Northolt has played dur­ing the last 100 years, show­ing how much we re­spect and value our mil­i­tary con­nec­tions.

“Here in Hilling­don we are ex­tremely proud to sup­port the Armed Forces and en­sure their

The Uxbridge Gazette Se­ries com­mit­ment is recog­nised. Many of the bor­ough’s res­i­dents are for­mer or serv­ing per­son­nel, vol­un­teer re­servists and war vet­er­ans.”

The Queen’s Colour for the Royal Air Force and the stan­dards for 32 The Royal Squadron and 63 Squadron RAF Reg­i­ment were also proudly on pa­rade. The Army De­tach­ment was pro­vided by 621 Ex­plo­sive Or­di­nance Dis­posal and the Bri­tish Forces Post Of­fice.

Group Cap­tain Andy Ba­con, RAF Northolt’s Sta­tion Com­man­der, is “over­whelmed and grate­ful” for the sup­port re­ceived by the lo­cal com­mu­nity, Hilling­don Coun­cil, res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tions, schools and busi­nesses.

He said: “RAF Northolt has been sup­port­ing mil­i­tary oper­a­tions for 100 years now and our strong re­la­tion­ship with the lo­cal com­mu­nity is vi­tal in help­ing us do that.

“The Free­dom of Hilling­don Pa­rade was a fine way to celebrate this re­la­tion­ship and our cen­te­nary and we’re proud to have been in­vited to do so.”

Union flags proudly waved by on­look­ers of all ages, were pro­vided by an Uxbridge shop­ping cen­tre.

Craig Higgins, intu Uxbridge mar­ket­ing man­ager, said: “Intu Uxbridge were thrilled to sup­port the pa­rade in the town mark­ing the cen­te­nary of RAF Northolt, the ar­ray of Union flags was a heart­warm­ing sight.”

The pa­rade took place from 10.40am un­til 11.40am. Mil­i­tary per­son­nel marched from Hare­field Road, through Uxbridge High Street to the Civic fore­court.

The cel­e­bra­tion was or­gan­ised by Hilling­don Coun­cil and RAF Northolt to pay trib­ute to the bor­ough’s long as­so­ci­a­tion with the unit, which started op­er­at­ing on March 3, 1915.


n AT­TEN­TION: Above and be­low left, Mayor of Hilling­don, Coun­cil­lor Ge­orge Cooper in­spects the troops, bot­tom left, Cllr Ray Pud­di­foot, and mil­i­tary per­son­nel, lo­cal dig­ni­taries and MPs watch the pa­rade

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