Hundreds of visitors, including veterans and their families, crowded onto the Martello Fields for the Seahaven Veterans and Armed Forces Day on Saturday.
The event was organised by Seaford Town Council and the Seahaven Branch of The Royal Society of St George, for the whole of the Lewes District. Throughout the day there wre many arena displays, including the Seaford Rock and Jazz Band, a Flyball Dog display, Seaford Lifeguards, the Up The Tempo Dance Group and a display of drill by the Newhaven detachments of Air Training Corps and Army Cadet Force.
The Parade took place at 12.30pm, marching behind the piper and the Seaford Sword from the Martello Tower down to the arena. The salute was taken by the Lord Lieutenant, Peter Field, the Mayor of Seaford, Cllr Anthony White and the President of the Seahaven Branch of The Royal Society of St George, Don Mabey. A problem of how to get the saluting party to the saluting point was solved by Seaford Taxis which provided a multi passenger taxi, free of charge as their contribution to the event.
When the saluting party returned to the arena, it was greeted by a fanfare trumpet by two members of the Seaford Silver Band. Before the inspection the branch Chaplain, Revd David Farrant led the prayers and gave a blessing for the day.
There were many charity and other stalls around the field as well as a funfair, and a special mini-tank arena where youngsters could have the thrill of driving a realistic tank. Helping the day go with a swing was the Tavern in a Tent, provided by the Seaford and Seaford Martello Rotary Clubs. The Royal Society of St George, as a special tribute, gave all veterans on parade a voucher for their first drink in the tavern.
Finance was also provided by town councils of Newhaven, Peacehaven and Telscombe. More than £340 was raised towards the cost of the event by the sale of soft toys and a bucket collection. The profits of the day will be donated to Blind Veterans UK (St Dunstans) and their President Ray Hazzan will collect a cheque at the Seahaven Branch’s next lunch at the Green Man at Ringmer on Friday July 12.
Chairman Bob Peedle, who commanded the parade said, “What a wonderful day. So many people made a great effort to help the event go so well, especially those from Seaford Town Council as well as our own St George’s members. The support from so many organisations and spectators, as well as the turn out the veterans and cadets were a major factor in the day’s success.”