RED ARROWS WOW CROWDS
HE is the little boy who has touched the heart of the nation.
And Scarborough gave a hero’s welcome to Bradley Lowery when he visited with his family.
A smiling Bradley, who is battling childhood cancer neuroblastoma, was guest of honour as 30,000 people turned out for Armed Forces Day, with a grandstand view from the balcony of the Town Hall as the RAF Falcons parachute display team dropped onto the beach, and later a spectacular show by the Red Arrows, which he found “mesmerising.”
Chairman of the Armed Forces Day group Tom Fox said the six-year-old “absolutely loved it” – and was fascinated by the VIPs’ official regalia.
“He was very keen on the (police) superintendent’s hat with the gold braid and he wore it for ages and he took the sword off Major Scrope, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire,” said Mr Fox.
“He had one of those fidget spinners with him and he was showing us how to properly use them – he could spin it on one finger. If you didn’t know he was ill you wouldn’t spot it.”
The family had been due to take a trip to Disney World, but were forced to cancel when the terminally ill youngster’s health took a turn for the worse.
Bradley’s story has touched millions with his family being told in December that his cancer is terminal.
Parents Gemma and Carl and brother Kieran then pledged to make “every moment count” in Bradley’s life.
Gemma said they’d had lots of fun on their week-long visit to the region.
She told The Scarborough News: “We are having a fantastic time making special memories. We were at the beach on Sunday and Bradley had lots of fun. The people of Scarborough are very friendly.”
John Senior, chairman of the South Bay Traders’ and national coordinator for Heroes Welcome UK, which organised two days of activities for the family from Blackhall, near Hartlepool – including a private tour of the Sea Life Centre and fish and chips at the Golden Grid – said: “What makes it so special was Scarborough coming together not only to support Armed Forces Day, but to recognise the courage and bravery of this very inspiring individual.
“I’ve been in the armed forces most of my adult life and you recognise courage when you see it. He was very smiley, very happy, full of jokes. His mum and the support group were absolutely delightful.
“Scarborough was packed to the rafters for such a brilliant day for everyone. The whole point of Armed Forces Day is to thank those who serve our country and we really roll the red carpet out for them in Scarborough.
“Our Armed Forces Day celebrations are the most successful in the UK and we’re very proud of that.”
Bradley, from County Durham, has been in and out of hospital with surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and intensive care treatments.
Writing on Bradley Lowery’s Fight Facebook page last week, Gemma said: “Bradley is awake for about four to five hours a day, which is plenty of time to have fun. We were told three weeks ago he had weeks to live and he is still going.
“I am so proud of him, he is my little superstar. I know he could change any day now and when that time comes it’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but for now we are making the most of everything.”
It comes as a song released for Bradley climbed to number three the iTunes chart. Year 1 children from Blackhall Colliery Primary School teamed up with Hartlepool singing sisters Liv’n’G to record Smile for Bradley in support of their poorly friend. All proceeds are going to the Bradley Lowery Foundation.
The youngster’s life changed at 18 months when he was diagnosed with the rare cancer that affects around 100 children in the UK every year.
Details of the foundation can be found at: https://bradleylowerysfight.org.uk
Red Arrows fly past Scarborough Castle. Picture by Linda Davies. (inset) Steve Jewel pa1725-10g
Large crowds gathered at South Bay pa1725-10r
Bradley enjoying his time on the beach. A demonstration by the RNLI and Coastguard pa1725-11g War hero Ben Parkinson with piper Karl Middleton pa1725-10l
The Red Arrows flying past the lighthouse. pa1725-12e