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IT RAINED ON OUR PARADE!

June 26th, 2017.

Bob Peedle writes:



Veterans and Armed Forces Day was celebrated at Seaford on Saturday. Following a week when we had the hottest June day since 1976, we awoke to a drizzly murky morning. Throughout the day it drizzled on and off but the driving wind from the sea drove the rain into clothing and into the many stalls that had been set up to support the event.


The wind and rain was too much for some stall holders, many having difficulty in keeping their tents or gazebos on the ground because of the gusts. Despite that, Forces Standards, led by the Standard of St George, were followed by detachments of Veterans - one on his electric buggy - the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Forces and the Air Training Corps. They formed up on the seafront by the Parade Commander, Major Bob Peedle MBE, their uniforms and clothing getting soaked. They then marched past the saluting base with Lord Lieutenant for East Sussex, Peter Field accompanied by Cllr Linda Wallraven, Mayor of Seaford, Laurie Holland, President of the Seahaven Branch of The Royal Society of St George, and alongside, Maria Caulfield MP for Lewes. Civic leaders from Lewes District, City of Brighton, Peacehaven, Newhaven and Telscombe also witnessed the parade and inspection.

The parade ended in the arena at the Martello Fields, where the Lord Lieutenant was greeted by a General Salute sounded by Chris Goodchild and Alan Charles, trumpeters from the Seaford Silver Band.

After prayers by Revd Daniel Merceron from Alfriston and the Cuckmere Churches, then the Inspection of the parade and address by the Lord Lieutenant, the trumpets sounded again for Last Post, followed after a minutes silence by Reveille. The exhortation was read by Captain Ken Jupp, Chairman of Seaford RBL. In the parade, the Seaford Sword was carried by Steve Bell CBE, a member of the Seahaven Branch RSSG.

The VIPs and Veterans, followed by the cadets then took warm drinks and refreshments provided by donations from the Royal British Legion and The Royal Society of St George.

The weather stopped the arena displays and with so few members of the public, the event finished nearly two hours early.

The proceeds from the event will be donated to the Forces Charity, Combat Stress.

Laurie Holland, President of the Seahaven Branch RSSG said: “It was so impressive that the veterans and cadets all marched past with great pride despite all of them being soaked to the skin and blown by the gusting wind. It was a wonderful sight, and everyone watching applauded their steadfastness. I was so proud.”

The event is organised by a joint committee of Seaford Town Council and Seahaven Branch RSSG with the support of Seaford RBL, for the whole of the district of Lewes with surrounding towns and villages.


Pictures by Tom Bonnar