Bad weather wrecks Preston's Armed Forces Day

Preston Armed Forces Day was called off today less than three hours before it was due to start.

Saturday, 21st August 2021, 9:02 am
Updated Saturday, 21st August 2021, 9:04 am
Standard bearers were looking forward to parading their colours in the city centre.

Organisers took the last minute decision to cancel the city centre parade and service with heavy rain forecast.

Colonel David Waters, president of the Preston and District Veterans' Council, said the decision had been taken reluctantly as bad weather approached.

"It is disappointing, very disappointing," said Col Waters. "But the forecast between 9:30am and 11:30am was not good. No-one would enjoy it, least of all the poor standard bearers.

"It's heartbreakling after all the work that has gone into it. But the decision was taken for the right reasons."

The parade of standards was due to leave the Town Hall and march to the War Memorial for a service at 11am. A number of Second World War veterans, all in their nineties, were expected to attend, along with scores of other service veterans.

The cancellation is the latest to hit the armed forces community in Preston over the past 16 months.

The last Armed Forces Day was in June 2019. Last year's had to be called off due to Covid and one in June this year was also postponed because of continuing restrictions.

Celebrations to mark VE 75 Day and VJ 75 Day last summer were also scuppered.