Odiham — 24 June 2017
Odiham “Armed Forces” Day
- The Bury,
Odiham is home to RAF Odiham and the UK’s Chinook Force. This year, we would like to mark Armed Forces day to not only thank our wider Armed Forces, but to also ensure that our RAF personnel know how much we value them as part of our community. There is a particular focus this year on RAF Odiham celebrating its 80th anniversary – which we see as a perfect opportunity to really mark the occasion.
The day will start with the opportunity for the RAF personnel to parade through our High Street. It is expected that our community of 4.5k people will turn out en masse to show their support.
The parade can then muster in our village square (known as the Bury), where we will invite a local dignatory, such as our MP, to address the personnel (and assembled community) to express how much their service is valued. The RAF Station Commander will be invited to respond should he wish.
After this short ceremony, the event will become a celebration, with local bands invited to perform to the crowd. This will provide a festival feel and encourage the Forces personnel, families and wider community to share the celebration.
To provide a suitable feel to the occasion our plans (subject to assistance) include:
– Decorating our community with RAF and union flags and bunting.
– A brass band for the parade
– Other music and related sound equipment for the event after the parade
– Subsidised food for the forces personnel.
– A themed cake (to feed all) to mark 80 years of RAF Odiham
We also want to use the day to hold an exhibition that celebrates the RAF stations history and shows the domestic and international good work that our Chinook force (and station over its history) have undertaken over the last 80 years. If successful in our grant application, we would plan to invest in some robust exhibition display boards that could then be a permanent feature in a key community building that could be updated regularly and dedicated to RAF Odiham’s activity.
This exhibition will be held in a indoor community space that adjoins the outdoor event area. Allowing many of our resident, families and children to take pride in what RAF Odiham do.
We plan to strongly promote the event – encouraging both the community and RAF families to come together to celebrate RAF Odiham and our Armed Forces in general. This invitation would also extend to other local communities who have a strong affinity with our Chinook force.