ALMOST 200 soldiers and veterans will parade through Eastwood this Saturday in what town councillors have described as ‘one of their proudest moments’ and ‘a fantastic day for Eastwood’.
Around 70 soldiers from the Royal Engineers and 120 members of the Royal Engineers Association will parade through the town before meeting dignitaries at The Lawrence Centre and re-dedicating a refurbished memorial in Mansfield Road.
Eastwood Town Council has given out 600 flags in time for the event, which will see residents, school children, shopkeepers and even pensioners from care homes take to the streets to celebrate the soldiers’ arrival.
Cllr Brian Griffin said the parade will be one of the ‘proudest moments of his life’.
“I’m very proud. I have lived in this town all my life. I am an Eastwood guy and this is one of the proudest moments of my life,” he said.
“These troops are honouring our town with their presence and I am proud of that, I really am.
“We have some bad things happen in this town but this is absolutely lovely and I hope everyone turns out for it.”
And Cllr Don Rowley added: “We have drummed up as much as we can and we are expecting it to be phenomenal.
“It’s a fantastic day for Eastwood.”
Cllr Hazel Charlesworth echoed their sentiments.
I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.
“It’s an honour to have them march through and a important day for Eastwood.”
As well as the schoolchildren waving their flags, uniformed groups such as the army cadets, St John Ambulance, Guides and Scouts will all be in town for the special occasion.
Soldiers will march from Our Lady of Good Counsel church at Hilltop at 10.30am, along Nottingham Road and onto Mansfield Road where they will meet the Mayor of Broxtowe Jacky Williams and the Mayor of Eastwood Ken Woodhead at The Lawrence Centre.
A small group of soldiers will then go to the memorial cottages at 12noon for a service led by Rev David Stevenson to re-dedicate the new memorial.
The march follows two parades in Beeston in previous years after Broxtowe Borough Council awarded the Royal Engineers the Freedom of Entry to the Borough in recognition of their outstanding achievements, commitment and dedication.
A rolling road closure will be put in place by Nottinghamshire Police.
For more information about the Freedom Parade, please contact Broxtowe Borough Council on 0115 917 3210.