PERSONNEL from RAF Wyton are expected to take to the streets of Huntingdon next April in a new Freedom Parade.

PERSONNEL from RAF Wyton are expected to take to the streets of Huntingdon next April in a new Freedom Parade.

Around 20,000 turned out for the first Freedom Parade in 1955, when Huntingdon Borough Council formally granted the town’s freedom to the base. This took place at a special meeting during a day-long celebration of the base’s previous 40 years’ contribution to the area.

Next year’s will be a more muted affair, with the run-down in numbers of service personnel at the three RAF bases commanded by Group Captain Bea Walcot – Wyton, Brampton and Henlow in Bedfordshire.

“I can’t imagine it will be much bigger than the Royal Anglians’ Freedom parade earlier this year,” said Mayor of Huntingdon Councillor Chris Doyle.

Although the RAF is keen to take up the town council’s invitation to parade through Huntingdon, the only date the service can make is April 12, Gp Capt Walcot has told the council.

There will be a sense of déjà vu for Cllr Doyle, who was a survival-equipment fitter for the Canberra and Nimrod squadrons at RAF Wyton between 1987 and 1990 and decided to settle here. After leaving the service, he worked for several local companies before starting his own plumbing business.

“It won’t be quite such as lavish occasion as it was in 1955, and there have been several parades in the meantime,” he said. “It’s too soon to say what form it will take next year, but I imagine it will be something like the Royal Anglians’ parade.”

Huntingdon Town Council will be asked to give formal approval tomorrow evening (Thursday).