Families can get involved with National Armed Forces Day with free open day event at Hangar 42 on June 26

Blackpool will honour the nation's servicemen, women and veteran with a series of ceremonies, virtual events and a family open day to mark this year's Armed Forces Week

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:50 pm
Visitor centre at Hangar 42 will be open on Armed Forces Day for a family open day

Kicking off the week's events, in the run up to National Armed Forces Day on Saturday 26 June, was the raising of the Armed Forces Day Flag above the Town Hall in celebration of the nation's service personnel, reservists, veterans, cadets and their families and friends.

And this Friday June 25 a service of dedication at Fylde Memorial Arboretum in Moor Park Avenue, Blackpool will take place at 11am but will be strictly invitation only.

Coun Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “It is a shame that COVID restrictions have once again prevented us from doing everything we would normally do to pay tribute to our servicemen and women during Armed Forces Week.

“We hope that the mix of virtual and physical events that we have created will enable people young and old to both celebrate and commemorate the remarkable dedication to duty by our Armed Forces.”

Founded by Don Aiken, a D-Day Veteran and located in the fields next to Moor Park school, the Arboretum stands as an area of remembrance that provides the service associations, and the people of Blackpool and the Fylde, a place of peace and beauty, in which to remember their fallen comrades and loved ones.

The Fylde Ex-Service Liaison Committee will host the service but have said those wishing to visit the Arboretum and memorials on the day may do so after the invitation event.

Saturday will be marked at the Hangar 42 Spitfire Visitor Centre at Blackpool Airport with a family day open event.

All those wanting to attend the free event can book their tickets in advance at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/lytham-st-annes-spitfire-display-team-visitor-centre-hangar-42The day will give people the opportunity to explore the Hangar, constructed in 1939 for the Royal Air Force and left relatively untouched since 1945 - retaining many original features.

The visitor centre developed to bring back to life the sights and sounds of the era, offers visitors a valuable insight into the realities of fighting on the ground, as well as in the air during the dark years of World War Two.

The open day will between 10am and 4pm.

It will feature three replica Spitfires and a Hawker Hurricane currently being restored with original parts. Some additional activities such as Bomber Command Virtual Reality Suite are chargeable extras.

View the full Armed Forces programme at visitblackpool.com/armedforces.