Stockton-on-Tees residents are being encouraged to show their support during Armed Forces Week, which begins on Monday 22 June, with a number of events planned including a special presentation of the Freedom of the Borough to 1 Close Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).
Around 200 soldiers from REME will parade through Stockton High Street on Thursday (June 25).
It takes place from 2.30pm to 3.45pm and will see the battalion presented with its Freedom of the Borough scroll by the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Ian Dalgarno, for the first time at a public event.
“It will be an absolute privilege to attend 1 Close Support Battalion REME’s Freedom Parade and I would like to encourage people from across Stockton Borough to come down to Stockton High Street, get involved with the activities on offer and support those who are serving, and have served, in our armed forces,” said Mayor Dalgarno.
“The REME were granted Freedom of the Borough in 2011 and we’re delighted to have them with us. I know there is a huge amount of respect for our service personnel and this is a great opportunity for everyone to let them know just how much their hard work and sacrifice is appreciated by the whole community.
“As well as the parade we’ve got a service, a tea dance and all sorts of other fun and interesting activities.”
The Mayor will begin the programme of Armed Forces Week activities with a Flag Raising Ceremony outside Stockton Town Hall on Monday 22 June from 10.15am to 10.35pm.
On Armed Forces Day, Thursday 25 June, from 10am to 3pm, there will be a host of free activities on Stockton High Street including displays from the World War Two re-enactment society, paintball and a climbing wall, as well as music from Jenny St John, Samantha Holden and the Drums Platoon of the Yorkshire Regiment.
A special service in recognition of serving and retired troops will also take place next to Stockton Town Hall, from 11.45am to 12.30pm, backed by the Salvation Army band.
There will also be an open air Tea Dance, free for all ages, taking place throughout the day in Stockton Town Centre.
To round off the celebrations, the Mayor’s Charity Duck Race will set off from Castlegate Quay in Stockton at 1.45pm on Sunday 5 July, raising funds for the Council’s chosen Armed Forces charities – The Yorkshire Regiment, The Rifles and 1 Close Support Battalion REME.
Residents and business can buy plastic yellow ducks to compete in the race from the Rediscover Shop on Stockton High Street and the reception of the Council’s Municipal Buildings. They will also be available at a stall in ASDA at Bath Lane, Stockton on Friday 19 June and outside Stockton Town Hall on Thursday 25 June.
For further details on all of the events taking place as part of Armed Forces Week 2015, visit www.stockton.gov.uk/armedforcesweek