The crowds turned out in St Neots on Saturday to show their pride and appreciation in the air cadets as they were granted the freedom of the town.

WO Glen Martin receives the framed freedom scroll from the mayor of St Neots, Cllr Derek Giles.WO Glen Martin receives the framed freedom scroll from the mayor of St Neots, Cllr Derek Giles.

The 2500 St Neots squadron marched through the centre of the town behind the squadron's drummers and alongside other Huntingdonshire cadets before forming up in the Market Square.

The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, Richard Pemberton, and the town's mayor, Councillor Derek Giles, then carried out an inspection.

After a short service, Cllr Giles spoke of the squadron's work within the local community.

He said: "I am proud of the squadron's long association with the town and of their dedication spanning nearly 40 years. They have always been there to help with any task asked of them which has been much appreciated.

Cadets marching through St Neots.Cadets marching through St Neots.

"We applaud the efforts the cadets and staff make. The parents should also share this honour. 2500 are dear to our hearts and we are delighted to have them exercise their right to march through the town."

On behalf of the squadron, Warrant Officer Glen Martin received the framed freedom scroll, which was then handed to two of the squadron's cadets, before he replied to the mayor and the council giving, on behalf of the squadron, thanks for bestowing the honour.

The parade then marched off and, with the freedom scroll proudly carried by cadets Paige Stamford and Liam Myrdal at its head, were applauded as they progressed through the town to a reception hosted by St Neots Town Council.

Warrant Officer Martin added: "It was a great day for 2500 St Neots Squadron, and I am so proud of 2500 and the support offered by the western sector squadrons. The event was tremendous. I also offer my grateful thanks to the fantastic support we have had from the mayor and town council."