Torrential downpour fails to dampen Armed Forces Day spirit

Ben greets a young fan

Even the arrival of a torrential downpour at the start of Moray’s Armed Forces Day celebrations could not dampen the spirits at Forres’ High Street and Grant Park on Saturday.

People from throughout the region lined up to cheer on service veterans and serving members of the RAF and Army as they marched through the town.

Waiting for them at the end of the road was a circle of tents exhibiting all that is best in the modern armed forces with airmen and sappers from RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss Barracks leading the way.

Grant Park kicked off the summer season back in May with their annual Motorfun day during the Spirit of Speyside festival – and it will again hold centre stage next week when the massive European Pipe Band championships return to the arena with the Highland Games closely following.

The parkland described by many as a ‘natural theatre’ proved itself once again on Saturday, providing sufficient space for a Sea King from 202 Squadron’s SAR detachment at Lossiemouth to land safely and remain for several hours as a star attraction.

There was plenty to keep young and old occupied with children thrilled to meet Ben the Elephant, the RAF Benevolent Fund mascot making a rare visit to Moray to the delight of younger visitors.

Popular also was Morayvia’s Nimrod and Jet Provost exhibits, while the Army’s 34 Field Squadron was another attraction that drew onlookers to their display.

After having a peek inside the Sea King keen hiker and hill climber David Easton said: “I’ve seen these guys flying over several times when I’ve been on trek’s and always hoped I would be able to see one close up – although preferably not in an emergency situation of my own making!

“So it was great to see inside the helicopter today and chat with the gentlemen who fly it.

“The whole day was tremendous for myself and my family – we owe our serviceman and women a massive debt that can never be repaid, but Armed Forces Day is a good opportunity for us to show our appreciation for their efforts.”

Further images from Moray’s Armed Force Day can be seen on insideMoray’s Facebook Page.

202 Sqn Sea King attracts attention

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