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Freedom Parade celebrates RAF Northolt centenary

 Published on: 20th October 2017   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

Thousands of people lined the streets of Uxbridge to enjoy the Freedom of Hillingdon Parade marking the centenary of RAF Northolt. The parade was a spectacular celebration organised by Hillingdon Council and RAF Northolt to pay tribute to the borough’s long and fruitful association with the unit, which started operating on March 3 1915. On Monday June 22, 170 armed forces personnel marched down Uxbridge High Street, from Harefield Road to the Civic Centre forecourt, where they were received by Mayor of Hillingdon Cllr George Cooper. Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people at the Freedom of Hillingdon Parade. The community really came together to celebrate the role RAF Northolt has played during the last 100 years, showing how much we respect and value our military connections. “Here in Hillingdon we are extremely proud to support the Armed Forces and ensure their commitment is recognised. Many of the borough’s residents are former or serving personnel, volunteer reservists and war veterans.” RAF Northolt’s Station Commander, Group Captain Andy Bacon, said: “Since my first day as Station Commander at RAF Northolt some two years ago I have been overwhelmed by, and very grateful for, the huge level of support that we receive from the local community; not only from Hillingdon Council but also from residents’ associations, schools, businesses and many others. “RAF Northolt has been supporting military operations for 100 years now and our strong relationship with the local community is vital in helping us do that. The Freedom of Hillingdon Parade today was a fine way to celebrate this relationship and our centenary and we’re proud to have been invited to do so.” The parade featured a wide selection of RAF Northolt personnel including The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, and a full Guard of Honour provided by the Queen’s Colour Squadron (63 Squadron RAF Regiment). The Queen’s Colour for the Royal Air Force and the standards for 32 The Royal Squadron and 63 Squadron RAF Regiment were also proudly on parade. The Army Detachment was provided by 621 Explosive Ordinance Disposal and the British Forces Post Office. Several VIPs attended the parade, including Mayor of Hillingdon Cllr George Cooper, Leader of Hillingdon Council Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP Boris Johnson, Paralympic equestrian Natasha Baker, other council representatives and Armed Forces veterans.

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