Sunderland mayor pays visit to local regiment

Coun Barry Curran, Mayor of Sunderland, and his wife Carol,  given a tour of the Garrison by Colonel Mike Butterwick.
Coun Barry Curran, Mayor of Sunderland, and his wife Carol, given a tour of the Garrison by Colonel Mike Butterwick.
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Wearsiders in a North East cavalry regiment have welcomed their Mayor on a visit.

Coun Barry Curran, Mayor of Sunderland, along with wife Carol, were given a tour of Catterick Garrison by Colonel Mike Butterwick, Deputy Commander of 4th Infantry Brigade.

During the visit, the mayor dropped in on the Light Dragoons, based at Gaza Barracks. The unit recruits heavily in the North East.

C Squadron Sergeant Major Bobby Buchan, from Sunderland, took the Mayor around displays of a Jackal, a Panther command vehicle and a variety of other weapons systems.

The Sunderland Armed Forces Network is one of the charities being supported by Coun Curran.

He said: “I never realised the garrison was so big.

“I have literally been overawed by all the brilliant facilities, but I also wanted to come down and see the local lads and lasses from the city that are in the Light Dragoons.

“Many of them are coming to Sunderland to join us for Remembrance and I just wanted to pay my respects before then. It has truly been a wonderful experience.”

Trooper John Appleton, 19, from Sunderland, said it was good to be able to show the mayor some of the kit they use, and was proud of the fact that he had taken an interest in the roles they played.

Trooper Daniel Alderton, 20, also from Sunderland, revealed there had been some friendly banter between the Mackem and Geordie soldiers.

He added: “It is good to know that he has taken the time out of his busy programme to come and visit us, and show an interest in what we do. But there is added spice as it is just before the derby game with Newcastle.”