Marking the anniversary of the Battle of Britain

Last year's Battle of Britain parade in Alnwick.
Last year's Battle of Britain parade in Alnwick.

To commemorate the Battle of Britain, a church service and parade will take place in Alnwick this weekend – and there will be a chance to say goodbye to the RAF Boulmer Sea King helicopter.

There will be a Service of Thanksgiving in St Michael’s Church at 2.30pm on Sunday, which members of the public are warmly invited to attend.

Coastguard teams from Howick and Amble wave off an RAF Boulmer Sea King helicopter. Picture by Steve Miller

Coastguard teams from Howick and Amble wave off an RAF Boulmer Sea King helicopter. Picture by Steve Miller

Following the service, a parade will march through Alnwick led by the Band of the 5th Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The Duchess of Northumberland, the Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland, will take the salute in the town centre. Parade personnel will consist of RAF Boulmer officers and airmen, Air Cadets, veterans and standard bearers.

As well as paying tribute to those who fought – and died – in the Battle of Britain, the afternoon will also allow residents to say goodbye to the search and rescue service being run from RAF Boulmer.

On conclusion of the parade, and operations permitting, a Sea King helicopter from ‘A’ Flight 202 Squadron will conduct a slow flypast to thank the community for its support.

The service will cease to be run from the Northumberland base come the end of this month – Wednesday, September 30 – bringing to an end 40 years of 202 Squadron being based at RAF Boulmer.

Bristow Helicopters Ltd will operate the service for the UK on behalf of HM Coastguard, taking over from RAF and Royal Navy crews. Cover for Northumberland will be provided from new bases at Humberside, which went live on April 1, and Glasgow Prestwick, which goes live on January 1, 2016.

We are appealing for people to send us their memories of the much-loved yellow choppers to find out how they have impacted the lives of people in north Northumberland. Send an email to ben.oconnell@jpress.co.uk