Crowds line street for Freedom Parade
Last Sunday crowds turned out to celebrate the borough’s formal links to RAF Halton.
They came to see RAF Halton exercise its right to the Freedom of the Borough, which was granted to the military base in 2009.
The Parade set off from Gadebridge Park, Hemel Hempstead just before midday and were accompanied by the Band of The Royal Air Force Regiment, pausing at St Mary’s Square for a military Lancaster flypast.
Following addresses by Mayor of Dacorum, Cllr Terry Douris and RAF Halton Station Commander, Group Captain Katherine Wilson, the parade then continued down to the end of the Old Town High Street where it came to a halt.
The Mayor Dacorum, Cllr Terry Douris said: ‘This parade is an opportunity to honour the military service that RAF Halton has given to the community over the years as well as paying tribute to the service given by the armed forces, past and present.
‘It was a fantastic day for RAF Halton and for the borough of Dacorum.’
Granting Freedom of Entry goes back to the middle ages when bodies of troops were not allowed to march through a borough without the Council’s permission. Freedom of Entry would normally be granted to local troops as a mark of trust, confidence and friendship.
Freedom of Entry gives RAF Halton the right to hold ceremonial marches with ‘drums beating, bands playing and banner flying’. As well as formal parades the regiment also supports Remembrance Day ceremonies in the borough.