The community of Weoley Castle is rallying together to host an Armed Forces Parade next month after Birmingham City Council and the military decided not to have one in the city centre this year.
Local ex-serviceman Paul Brown has gained lots of support to hold a parade in South West Birmingham, after being disappointed by the decision.
A joint decision was made by the council not to host an Armed Forces Day event this year due to other military events in the city.
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “A number of military events are taking place in Birmingham this year, including those marking the centenaries of the Royal Air Force and end of World War I. Therefore, a decision was taken, with the full support of our military partners, that there would not be an Armed Forces Day event.
“Birmingham has strong links with the military, which it does celebrate.”
Paul served with The Royal Corps of Transport and then the Royal Logistics Corps, in Germany and in the first Gulf War (1990-1991). After leaving the Army, Paul joined the Army Cadet Force as an instructor for 5 years.
He said: “I have attended Armed Forces Day in Birmingham every year with friends who are also ex-military. On hearing the City Centre Parade had been cancelled I decided to create the group [on Facebook] and see if what feed back I got regarding doing it in Weoley Castle.”
“Armed Forces Day is a chance to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.”
All welcome to family friendly event
The idea quickly gained support from the community and local councillors and now a road closure has been approved and the parade is all set to go ahead.
The family friendly event will take place on 30th June and will see a parade march from Weoley Castle Square down Somerford Road, before forming up outside the Weoley Castle pub. After an address, the Last Post and a 2 minute silence, there day will continue with entertainment and stalls. There will be a military vehicles and memorabilia on display plus a disco, karaoke, BBQ, ice cream van, bouncy castle, facepainting and more.
Cllr Julie Johnson (Weoley & Selly Oak) said: “I have been working with Paul on this and will continue to do so. Its unfortunate we can’t host the Parade in the city this year. I’m fully supportive of the Parade in Weoley.”
In February, the Royal Marines received the Freedom of the City from the Lord Mayor of Birmingham during a city centre ceremony, and RAF Cosford were given the same honour last weekend an at public event. Several aircraft will be displayed in Victoria Square as part of the RAF’s centenary celebrations over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Support the Weoley Parade
You can support the Weoley Parade in several ways:
- Donate: Help reach the £1,999 target by donating online
- Volunteer: Give some time to help out on the day – for example: first aiders, marshals
- Attend: Former and current service personnel, families, friends and public supporters from Birmingham and beyond are welcome to attend.
• Where: Parade begins in Weoley Castle Square B29 5QH before marching – via Somerford Road – to the Weoley Castle pub, Shenley Lane B29 4HA
• When: From 1.30pm Saturday 30th June
• Who: All welcome from the local area, Birmingham and beyond.