Aberdeen ,

Large crowds expected for Armed Forces Parade and Activity Afternoon

Aberdeen’s Union Street will be filled with the rhythmic beat of soldiers marching, colourful flags waving and the sound of massed pipe bands and drums, this weekend.

1,000 service men and women, veterans and cadets from the Army, Navy and RAF will gather together for the annual Armed Forces Day on Saturday 25 June.

Veterans will proudly wear their medals and uniforms alongside those who are in training, or have just starting out in their military career, and more experienced officers who have returned from travelling the world on tours of duty.

A large crowd is expected to watch the march, which will also include vintage military vehicles, as it gets under way at 11am at Albyn Place before it heads down Union Street to the Castlegate.

Free flags, which were designed by competition winner Ella Cumming, (9), a primary five pupil from Culter School in Aberdeen, will be handed out along the parade route.

The parade will be led by a pipe band and members of The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 Scots). As the parade passes the Town House the Lord Provost of Aberdeen George Adam, in his role as Lord-Lieutenant, will take the salute along with Lt Col Phillip J Fox MBE of The RIFLES representing the British Army, Captain Robbie Kennedy of the Royal Marines Reserve representing the Royal Navy and Wing Commander Kelvin Martin on behalf of the Royal Air Force.

Following the parade, the public are invited to make the short journey up to the Bridge of Don Barracks on King Street, for a fun-filled afternoon of free activities from 12noon until 5pm. Free car parking is being provided at the nearby Car Park 4 at the Aberdeen Exhibition Conference Centre (AECC).

Skydiving by the Paragon freefall display team is scheduled to take place at 2.30pm and 4.30pm (weather dependent). A landed helicopter is expected to be popular with those curious to see what it is like to sit at the controls. A range of military vehicles will also be on display and event-goers can try out free activities with Transition Extreme, Street Sport and a climbing wall provided by the RAF Air Training Corps.

At 1.45pm the beating of the retreat will be led by Aberdeen Universities Officer Training Corps followed by the veterans and serving members of the armed forces as well as the pipe bands that took part in the parade.

The Gordon Highlanders Museum stall will offer free face painting and the chance to handle historical objects and talk to historians dressed up in WW1 uniforms. Various charities will be giving out information during the course of the afternoon.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, George Adam said: “This is a day to honour the men and women of our armed forces past and present for their service to the country. It’s also a great family day out. We can always rely on the citizens of Aberdeen to give all those taking part a warm welcome and show their appreciation of the Armed Forces by lining the length of Union Street to see the parade march past. I hope they take part in the fun down at the barracks after the parade.”

On Saturday (25 June) a number of temporary road traffic restrictions will be in place to allow the parade to pass safely.

The following road closures will be in place from 9am until 11.45am:

  • Albyn Place between its junctions with Albyn Grove and Victoria Street;
  • Alford Place between its junctions with Victoria Street and Union Street.

From 10.30am to 12.30pm the following road closures will be in place:

  • Chapel Street between its junctions with Union Street and Thistle Street;
  • Union Street between its junctions with Holburn Street and Castle Street;
  • Back Wynd between its junctions with Schoolhill and Union Street;
  • Castle Street between its junctions with Union Street and King Street;
  • King Street between its junctions with Castle Street and West North Street.

The existing ban on right turns from King Street on to West North Street; from Rosemount Viaduct on to Skene Street; and from Holburn Street on to Willowbank Road; and left turns from Hadden Street on to Market Street, will be temporarily suspended between 10.45am to 12.30pm on 25 June.

To find out more visit www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/armedforcesday