Posted: Sat 17th Feb 2018

Historic military parade takes place in Chester city centre today

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Feb 17th, 2018

An historic military parade takes place in Chester city centre today, Saturday, 17 February.

The Mercian Regiment Freedom Parade will see soldiers of 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment exercise their Freedom of the City, which was granted by Chester City Council on 26 March 2008. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The parade will commemorate the homecoming of the battalion from recent operational tours in South Sudan, Northern Iraq and the Falkland Islands with a Service of Thanksgiving in Chester Cathedral. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The event also marks the anniversary of the Battle of Meeanee, a famous victory won by the regiment’s forebears in 1843, and will be the last parade by the battalion before they vacate The Dale Barracks, in Upton, and move to Cyprus in Summer 2018. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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The battalion has been based at The Dale Barracks since 2014. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The parade starts at Chester Castle at 10.15am and makes its way to the cathedral for the service at 11am. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Following the service, the Mercian parade will form up outside the cathedral and proceed to Eastgate Street, where the formal Salute will take place, before heading back to Castle. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Councillor Razia Daniels, the Lord Mayor of Chester, said: “It is such an honour and privilege to be part of this momentous occasion. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I would encourage residents, business owners and visitors to come and embrace the event and enjoy the cultural background of our beautiful city while supporting the Mercian Freedom Parade and the soldiers.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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Commanding officer of 2 Mercian, Lieutenant Colonel Ben Wilde MBE, will command the parade – though this marks his last day in command of the Battalion. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He said: “It is a great privilege to march through the streets of Chester, especially since this is to commemorate everyone’s safe return from a series of demanding operational deployments to South Sudan, Northern Iraq and the Falkland Islands. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“While it will also be a sad occasion as this will be the last time the Battalion will parade through Chester before the move to Cyprus, it is also our opportunity to thank the Chester community for their support during our time away.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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“As a Battalion we always have an eye on the future, but it is critical that we draw inspiration from our history as well as from our strong roots in the local community.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Some roads will be closed between 9am and 1pm in and around Chester this morning they are: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  • Castle Street (From Lower Bridge Street to Grosvenor Roundabout),
  • Lower Bridge Street (From Castle Street to Pepper Street),
  • Bridge Street (From Pepper Street to Watergate Street),
  • Eastgate Street (From Foregate Street to Northgate Street),
  • Northgate Street (From Eastgate Street to Hunter Street),
  • St Werburgh Street (From Northgate Street to Eastgate Street),
  • Watergate Street (From Bridge Street to Nicholas Street),
  • Foregate Street (From Eastgate Street to St John Street).
  • St Johns Street, (Foregate Street to Little St John Street)

Suspend parking, loading/unloading and Blue Badge parking from 6am until 1pm ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  • Northgate Street (From Hunter Street to Eastgate Street)
  • St Werburgh Street (Full Length)
  • Eastgate St (Full Length)
  • Bridge Street (Full Length)
  • Castle Street (Full length)

Pedestrian access to premises situated on or adjacent to the roads will be maintained at all times. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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