Published July 22, 2016 at 17:02
Thousands of people lined the streets of Haslingden on Thursday July 21st to welcome the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment as they took part in a Freedom Parade to mark their Freedom of the Borough.
The Regiment were first granted the Freedom of Haslingden in 1964, this was then extended to Rossendale when we last had a parade in the Borough in June 2002, in Rawtenstall. The freedom was transferred to the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in 2006.
The day started with a service at St James’ Church for the Regiment and dignitaries, during which the Regimental Colours were presented. The service was officiated by Reverend Stephen Brown and Regimental Chaplin Dr Simon Bloxham-Rose.
The regiment then collected their arms and lined up ready to start the parade. They marched from Regent Street down Bury Road where Veterans were outside the VIC Centre saluting the Regiment on their way past.
They then went up Manchester Road where hundreds of people cheered them on. A real highlight was when the Regiment lined up outside Greenfield Memorial Gardens to take the salute and be inspected by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Colonel Alan Jolley OBE, the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, Colonel Jeremy Gorick and the Mayor of Rossendale, Cllr Morris. As this took place the large crowds were treated to a musical extravaganza from the Band of the King’s Division.
The parade then continued up Manchester Road down Warner Street and onto Helmshore Road to even more crowds. They then went up St Peters Avenue for dismissal at St Peters Church where they were treated to speeches from the Mayor of Rossendale and the Honorary Colonel.
The Mayor of Rossendale gave the Regiment a gift from Rossendale which was a framed resolution and we were honoured to receive the Silver Lion as a gift from the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, which is their official symbol.
The Regiment were then treated to pie and peas after parading in the Haslingden sunshine.
Haslingden Primary School and Haslingden St James had their pupils out waving flags and the occasion was really memorable for everyone.
Rossendale Council would like to thank the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment for such a remarkable event in Rossendale.
The council would also like to thank all those who helped them in the organisation of the event; St James’ Church, St Peter’s Church, the VIC, Rosso Bus, the Police, Billington’s Caterers, Stadium Traffic Management and Intrack, as well as all the people who lined the streets of Haslingden in support of the Regiment to make the day a special one.
Mayor of Rossendale, Cllr Granville Morris, said;
“I’m honoured and humbled to have been a part of this occasion and witness the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment march through the Town. The people of Haslingden came out in their thousands, it was overwhelming. A lot of organising went into this event which was demonstrated in how smoothly it all ran and I’d like to thank everyone involved.”
Cllr Christine Lamb, Deputy Leader of Rossendale Council said;
“It was a magnificent event and something which I and everyone involved in the day will remember for a long, long time. The Rossendale weather was on its best behaviour and everyone had a wonderful day.”
Stuart Sugarman, Chief Executive of Rossendale Council said;
“This event has taken a lot of planning from the Council and we couldn’t be prouder of how it all went. We hope to build on our strong relationship with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in the future.”
Colonel Chris Owen, the Regimental Secretary;
“We were all bowled over by the tremendous reception we received from the large crowds yesterday as we paraded to exercise our Freedom of Rossendale. The warmth of the greetings was humbling and made us feel very proud. The borough is very much a close part of the Regimental family and we greatly cherish our links with it. That feeling is very clearly mutual.”
Below are a snapshot of some of the pictures we took on the day.