Ribble Valley to Host Platinum Jubilee ‘Freedom Parade’
Over 120 soldiers and a marching band are to parade through Clitheroe with ‘bayonets fixed, drums beating and colours flying’.
The 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment supported by the British Army Band Catterick will march through the town centre on Tuesday, 24 May.
The rousing event will herald the start of Ribble Valley’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations marking 70 years since her Majesty Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne.
The historic occasion will be celebrated throughout the UK and Commonwealth in numerous ways, including an extended bank holiday from June 2 to 5.
The Queen is the Duke of Lancaster and Ribble Valley Borough Council awarded Freedom of the Borough to the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in 2011.
The honour dates from Roman times when troops were not allowed to enter a town or city bearing arms without the express permission of the authorities.
These days, it is a ceremonial honour showing the ties between a borough and a particular regiment.
And the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment is to take up the honour by marching through the town centre to Market Place, where they will be presented to Ribble Valley Mayor Stuart Hirst, before a church service and civic reception.
Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson said: “The opportunity for a Freedom parade rarely arises and this exciting event will honour the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve our country.
“The Freedom of the Borough parade in 2011 attracted thousands of spectators and we are looking forward to giving the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment another rousing Ribble Valley welcome.
“This year’s parade is particularly poignant, as the Queen is the Duke of Lancaster and the parade heralds the start of the borough’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.”
Brigadier Frazer Lawrence, Colonel of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said: “The regiment has long and close association with Ribble Valley, which was marked by the granting of its Freedom in 2011.
“We cherish these links and it is an honour and a privilege for us to exercise our Freedom by marching through the borough.”
The parade will start a series of events in Ribble Valley marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, including a beacon-lighting at Clitheroe Castle and the planting of 70 trees throughout the borough.
Pupils from St Michael and St John’s RC Primary School and St James’s CE Primary School, Clitheroe, will line the route waving flags they have made in conjunction with local artist Beverley Chapelhow in the official Platinum Jubilee colours of silver and purple.
Further details of the parade, including timings and the route, will be announced in due course.