Stranraer salutes its heroes of past and present

STRANRAER gave another great turnout for the Armed Forces Day parade and celebrations in Agnew Park on Saturday.

It was great to see the support that our service personnel receive, whether veteran or serving.

Gerry Dimmock from Newton Stewart, an Arnhem veteran

Gerry Dimmock from Newton Stewart, an Arnhem veteran

The event, organised by Stranraer branch of the Royal British Legion (Scotland), was led by a group of motorbikes from the Riders Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland, making a very impressive sight.

Colin MacNab, the chairman of the bikers, said: “We are a diverse amalgamation of bikers from all over Scotland who support aims of the Royal British Legion (Scotland). We uphold their motto, ‘Service, not self’.”

Two pipe bands were on call for the parade, with Stranraer & District Pipe Band being, supported by Galloway Pipes & Drums from Dalbeattie. Also taking part in the parade was Winston Churchill impersonator Derek Herbert from Cheshire. Interestingly, Churchill was in Stranraer in June 1942, 70 years earlier, to leave Stranraer on a Boeing Flying Boat to visit the US President Franklin D Roosevelt.

Churchill often stayed in Knockinaam Lodge, near Portpatrick, to meet key people involved in the war effort, such as General Eisenhower.

Once the parade arrived in Agnew Park, a Royal Navy Search and Rescue Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet did a flypast. These naval aviators are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any search and rescue mission to keep our communities safe.

In Agnew Park, there were numerous stalls and sideshows to keep the family happy.

Numerous bands entertained throughout the afternoon – Southbound, Mary Wallace and Caution by the Door. Other entertainment came from Scottish Highland dancers and the Blue Bombshells.