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On Thursday 21 June, RAF Brize Norton will be granted Honorary Freedom of Torbay under the Honorary Freedom of Boroughs Act 1885.

There will be a ceremonial service at 1pm outside Torquay Town Hall, which will give, by tradition, the service personnel from RAF Brize Norton the right and honour to march through the Borough bearing arms.

A parade, led by the Band of the RAF Regiment, through Torquay Town Centre to Torquay Seafront will commence at 1:40pm and will fall-out on the promenade at 2:15pm.

The parade route will start from the Town Hall, go down Union Street and Fleet Walk turning left and then right at the Clocktower then on to the seafront promenade to the right of the Princess Theatre. There will also be a RAF Flypast taking place during the ceremony, timings to be confirmed in due course.

Elected Mayor Gordon Oliver said: “The Honorary Freedom of Torbay gives the service personnel of RAF Brize Norton the right and honour to march through the Borough bearing arms led by the Band of the RAF Regiment.

I am very pleased the Council has responded positively to my initiative to recognise and thank the Royal Air Force for keeping us safe and free and giving us the opportunity to say a really big thank you and well done. We are indeed very proud of the service.

We are delighted to receive the service personnel from RAF Brize Norton and look forward to the ceremonial service and parade through the town. This is a wonderful opportunity for the people of Torbay to say their big thank you to all the past and present personnel of RAF Brize Norton. We are extremely grateful for the service that they provided for this country.”

Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Nicole Amil, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the links between Torbay and the Royal Air Force, particularly in their centenary year. We look forward to welcoming the personnel at this special ceremonial service and parade through the town.”

RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire is the largest RAF Station with approximately 5,800 Service Personnel, 1,200 contractors and 300 civilian staff.

The Station is home to the RAF's Strategic and Tactical Air Transport (AT) and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) forces, as well as host to many lodger and reserve units.

With its mixed fleet of aircraft, RAF Brize Norton provides rapid global mobility in support of UK overseas operations and exercises, as well as AAR support for fast jet aircraft both on operations and in support of UK Homeland Defence.

There will be a number of road closures between 12:30pm and 3pm and signed diversions will be in place.

Parking suspension will be in place from Castle Circus, Union Street and Torbay Road and from Abbey Sands to Princess Gardens between 10am and 3pm.

The Town Hall Car Park will be closed between 7am and 5pm.

Due to a full road closure between 12:40pm and 1pm Trematon Avenue and Castle Circus could become congested. After 1pm, traffic along Lymington Road and Castle Circus will be diverted up St Marychurch Road. We recommend drivers avoid these roads during this time or allow extra time for their journeys.

For further information please email events@torbay.gov.uk.


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