MEMBERS of the Royal Air Force Wyton and Brampton will be marching through Huntingdon today (Tuesday), exercising their right of the freedom of the town for the first time since 2005.
The parade will take start at 10.45am in Princes Street Car Park and heading for Market Hill where the airmen will be met by Huntingdon Mayor Councillor Jennifer Sarabia and a party of civic dignitaries to take part in a ceremony.
The RAF troops, who will be accompanied by the Wyton Voluntary Band (which will be playing in Market Hill from 10.30am) , will then - at about 11.24am, march - through the High Street.
RAF Wyton was granted the freedom of the then borough of Huntingdon in 1955, a right which was extended to RAF Brampton in 1995.
Cllr Sarabia said: “It is my pleasure, along with my fellow town councillors to see the Freedom of Entry being exercised. Huntingdon has maintained strong links with our armed forces and we should be proud of our close association with our fighting men and women, especially in today’s world.
“I hope that the people of Huntingdon will attend the parade to applaud our service personnel and reinforce our support for them.”
RAF Brampton Wyton Henlow’s Station Commander Group Captain Bea Walcot said: “Exercising our freedom is not just a symbolic gesture. We have been extremely fortunate to have such a supportive community who have not only coped with the various changes in role of the stations but also the constant upheaval in movement of personnel which we acknowledge does have an impact on the town and surrounding villages.
“I am also in particular appreciative of the support given to those personnel who deploy overseas or to other parts of the country, leaving spouses and children behind – in this the local community have shown exceptional warmth and understanding.
“Although our numbers may have dwindled somewhat since the Freedom was originally granted in 1955, please be assured that our appreciation and affinity to Huntingdon will remain for many years to come.’’
The Royal Anglian Regiment also has the Freedom of Huntingdon and marched through the town last year.