Gallery: Deborah Meaden opens Somerset Armed Forces Day

Thousands of people gathered at Vivary Park in Taunton for Somerset Armed Forces Day (SAFD) on Saturday 2nd July.

The event in the district town was one of them Armed Forces Dayan annual British commemoration of the people who serve in the military.

SAFD was opened at 10am by Entrepreneur and The Dragon’s Lair Investor Deborah Meaden and showed an afternoon flyover from the Red Arrows.

There were also performances by Kirsten Orsborn, the Armed Forces Treasure, the Taunton Military Wives Choir and the South West Comms Band.

Flag bearers march through Vivary Park during Armed Forces Day on Saturday. Image: Steve Richardson

The day ended with a closing ceremony in the arena and bandstand area.

Trish Caller from Brilliant PR & events, SAFD Director and PR and Marketing Manager, said: “We are delighted with the response to Saturday’s event. We would like to thank our many generous sponsors who made this event possible.

“Our stand holders, exhibitors and artists who made the day amazing! From uniformed re-enactment groups to marauding Vikings, tanks and all representatives of the armed forces, police, fire brigade and ambulance.

“Three highlights have to be mentioned: the jetsuit guy from Gravity, the flypast of the Red Arrows display team and our amazing Somerset Armed Forces Day Champion Deborah Meaden. She had time and a smile for everyone.

“She opened the event and walked around all the booths. At one point she sang and danced in the rain to Kirsten Orsborn, our wonderful Forces sweetheart singer.

“It’s been a lot of hard work but a real pleasure to be able to do this for all of the military and veterans.

“There will be more acknowledgments on our website shortly. See you next year!”

The event was attended by Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow, who described the event as “excellent”.

Somerset County Gazette: Rebecca Pow MP in an HMT Mk 2 developed by SC Group based in Dunkeswell, Devon on Somerset Armed Forces Day.Rebecca Pow MP in an HMT Mk 2 developed by SC Group based in Dunkeswell, Devon on Somerset Armed Forces Day.

Ms Pow said: “Our defense industry is an important contributor to the local economy, employs many and helps keep us safe on a global scale.

“Thank you also to all who serve, have served and all who support our armed forces.”

Gallery: Somerset Armed Forces Day 2022

Somerset County Gazette: Helpers to Heroes at Somerset Armed Forces Day at Vivary Park.  Images: Steve RichardsonHelpers to Heroes at Somerset Armed Forces Day in Vivary Park. Images: Steve Richardson

Somerset County Gazette: South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust staff were ready to help.South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust staff were on hand to help.

Somerset County Gazette: Stan, Eleanor and Martin Tier next to a vintage military vehicle.Stan, Eleanor and Martin Tier next to an old military vehicle.

Somerset County Gazette: Members of the armed forces were present at the park throughout the day.Members of the armed forces were present in the park throughout the day.

Somerset County Gazette: Flag bearers march through Vivary Park.Flag bearers march through Vivary Park.

Somerset County Gazette: Military and Veterans appeared in large numbers.Military members and veterans appeared in numbers.

Somerset County Gazette: Somerset Armed Forces Day coincided with a national commemoration of soldiers.Somerset Armed Forces Day coincided with a national commemoration of soldiers.

Somerset County Gazette: Ben and Toby Youd.Ben and Toby Youd.

Somerset County Gazette: Marcus Stephenson and James Parish with a gift bag from SSAFA.Marcus Stephenson and James Parish with a goodie bag from SSAFA.

Somerset County Gazette: Sarah and Madison Guyton, with Charlotte, Connor and Jessica Whitehouse.Sarah and Madison Guyton, with Charlotte, Connor and Jessica Whitehouse.

Somerset County Gazette: The NAAFI team at the event.The NAAFI team at the event.

Somerset County Gazette: Daniel and Daisy Stone.Daniel and Daisy Stone.

Somerset County Gazette: Les Riggs from West Somerset PRA with his great-granddaughter Ivy Wake.Les Riggs from West Somerset PRA with his great granddaughter Ivy Wake.

Somerset County Gazette: Val Stillwell, Andrew Jacobs and Chris Eke from SSAFA with visitors Georgina and Harry Wilkie.SSAFA’s Val Stillwell, Andrew Jacobs and Chris Eke with visitors Georgina and Harry Wilkie.

Somerset County Gazette: There were a number of stands at the event.There were a number of booths at the event.

Somerset County Gazette: Rita and Stephen Jervis, with Tony Croft of the West Country Tommies Group.Rita and Stephen Jervis, with Tony Croft of the West Country Tommies Group.

Somerset County Gazette: The West Country Tommies Group.The West Country Tommies group.

Somerset County Gazette: Paul and Sue Thresher, with Julie and Andy Murray.Paul and Sue Thresher, with Julie and Andy Murray.

Somerset County Gazette: Will Lewis, with Alex and Angela Hill.Will Lewis, with Alex and Angela Hill.

Somerset County Gazette: Visitors enjoy entertainment.Visitors enjoy the entertainment on offer.

Somerset County Gazette: Kayleigh Taylor, with Kirsty, Finley, Ollie and Ian Parson of Veterans Charity.Kayleigh Taylor, with Kirsty, Finley, Ollie and Ian Parson from Veterans Charity.

Somerset County Gazette: Jason Hughes, James Kenworthy, Pam Trower and Elaine Russell from the Somerset Armed Forces Day events team.Jason Hughes, James Kenworthy, Pam Trower and Elaine Russell from the Somerset Armed Forces Day events team.

Somerset County Gazette: Leon Matthews, Jane Hawkins and Vikki Duff.Leon Matthews, Jane Hawkins and Vikki Duff.

Somerset County Gazette: Brian and Mary Toomey.Brian and Mary Toomey.

Somerset County Gazette: Amanda, Rich, Casey and Spencer Tutill.Amanda, Rich, Casey and Spencer Tutill.

Somerset County Gazette: Crowds gather in the Somerset Armed Forces Day arena.Crowds gather in the Somerset Armed Forces Day arena.

Somerset County Gazette: Somerset Armed Forces Day was held on Saturday 2nd June.Somerset Armed Forces Day took place on Saturday 2nd June.

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