Day one of Armed Forces Day event attracts locals for live music and flag raising

A flag has been raised to honour Britain’s armed forces as a three-day event to thank service personnel for their dedication to the country begins in Seaburn.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 9:21 pm
Updated Friday, 28th June 2019, 10:36 pm

Organiser, Paul Jasper, joined Mayor and Mayoress, Coun David and Dianne Snowdon, in raising the flag to begin the tenth year of the annual Armed Forces Day weekend in Sunderland.

The Rock Choir performed for a packed out marquee before the Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band entertained the crowd.

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Organiser Paul Jasper raised the flag to start the three-day event

Residents and visitors enjoyed sunny weather and food and drinks from the wide selection of stalls available.

Paul Jasper, the organiser said: “Myself and Janice Procter organise the whole thing which takes the whole year and lots of hours and of course, at the end of the year we hopefully get something, which we’ve got this year – great weather.

“What we try to do is get across to the general public is that we are all tax payers and we all contribute to the defence – our lads and lasses who are the best trained military in the world.

“For us to be able to celebrate that, although I know the girls are doing alright in the world cup, these guys and girls are out there every day winning the world cup as far as I’m concerned. So, it’s nice to come together over the weekend to reflect on that.

The flag was raised on the open evening of Sunderland's Armed Forces Weekend

“If they start to recognise that people at home appreciate them, then their morale is maintained.”

Janice Procter also helps organise the event.

She said: “We are the only area that does three days annually. It is a pretty tough area for myself but I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s hard to do but the reason I do it is I so respect my son’s uniform.

Organiser Paul Jasper, Mayor David Snowdon and Mayoress Dianne Snowdon came together for the opening evening of Sunderland's Armed Forces Weekend

“The fact is I uphold the military uniform and I respect the military areas and totally adhere to my son’s wishes. He said be as proud of my uniform as I am and that’s what I do.”

Event helper Janice Procter showed her support for the military at the event