Slideshow: Big crowd at Market Harborough Armed Forces Day event

Organisers of the seventh annual Armed Forces Day event in Market Harborough were delighted with the record turnout this year.

The celebration, held on Sunday at the town’s Welland Park, attracted an estimated crowd of 1,000 people at its busiest.

The start of the Armed Forces Day at Welland Park.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The start of the Armed Forces Day at Welland Park.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The day, which started at 10am, began under dreary skies and drizzle, which affected the initial turnout.

But by lunchtime, the weather had perked up and visitor numbers swelled.

There were a variety of stalls as well as displays, live music and lots of 1940s military dress and vehicles. Food and refreshments were available all day.

The town’s air cadets from ATC 1084 (Market Harborough) Squadron and sea cadets from the TS Fernie both gave impressive displays on the parade ground.

Harborough firm Stephen Sanderson Transport kindly loaned one of its flat-bed trucks for use as a stage.

Music came from Peter Wayre with his 1940s tunes and the 2015 Harborough’s Got Talent winner, the hugely talented 12-year-old Charlotte Crosier.

The four-and-a-half-hour event was organised by the Market Harborough branch of the Royal British Legion.

Its chairman, the Rev John Morley, said: “By the end of the day, it was as busy a crowd as we have ever had.

“The committee would like to thank everybody who helped organise the event and those who supported it.

“Particular thanks go to Stephen Sanderson for the lorry, The Angel Hotel which lets us hold our committee meetings for free there, HFM which provided the PA system at Welland Park and to all the many local companies who donated items for our grand prize draw.

“It really was a lovely occasion and everybody went home happy.”

The High Sheriff of Leicestershire Gordon Arthur, of Smeeton Westerby, officially opened the day with a speech praising the armed forces of the past, present and future.

Later, the 2014/15 Harborough Carnival Queen Amber Morris spoke to the crowd, thanking the past generation for sacrificing their lives to provide peace.

The event closed at 2.30pm with another speech, this time by Harborough Council chairman Cllr Mike Rook, who thanked the organising committee and participants.

A planned flypast from a Spitfire had to be cancelled due to gusty winds.