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Armed Forces Day starts with rip-roaring parade.

Byline: Simon Meechan Reporter simon.meechan@trinitymirror.com

AROUND 300 motorcycles roared through South Shields to kick off an armed forces celebration day.

The Bad-Landers Motorcycle Club organises South Shields Armed Forces Day every year to show support for troops and raise money for their charities.

The bikers convoyed from Sunderland to Bents Park, ahead of a military parade from Gypsies Green to Bents Park, where troops were inspected before a short open air church service.

Well-wishers lined the road on a baking hot Sunday to watch the parade.

The event held on Sunday raises money for Support Our Soldiers and other armed forces charities.

Organiser Joe Fairrie, of the Bad-Landers Motorcycle Club, said: "It was fantastic to see so many people coming out today to support our Armed Forces.

"We think there have been more than 7,000 people here today, which is amazing.

"We also always get a huge amount of support from the biking community from around the North East and the money raised on the day goes a long way to supporting military charities. But it's about much more than that. It's about remembering and acknowledging that our armed forces risk their lives to keep us safe."

South Shields Armed Forces Day takes place a week ahead of the national Armed Forces Day, to avoid scheduling clashes. In addition to the parade, live bands and street performers entertained the crowd. Other activities included motorbike customisation shows, a fun fair and face painting.

Coun Ed Malcolm, chairman of the South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: "Armed Forces Day helps us to raise awareness of the contribution made by the armed forces community, from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.

"It is a fitting tribute and an ideal opportunity for us all to come together to celebrate our services community and to recognise the commitment and sacrifices that they make."

It is an ideal opportunity for us all to come togetherCoun Ed Malcolm

CAPTION(S):

Some of the procession participants at this year's Armed Forces Day in South Shields

Over 300 motorcycles roar into South Shields for the annual armed forces day at Bents Park

Simon Greener

Simon Greener

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 19, 2017
Words:364
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