Crowds gather to watch yearly armed forces parade in Northampton

Northampton's annual armed forces parade 2017.
Northampton's annual armed forces parade 2017.

Hundreds gathered in Northampton town centre to pay tribute the soldiers seamen and airmen of the British armed forces.

The parade got underway - after a half-hour delay caused by car parked unwittingly near the start point - at around 11am, led by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.

Northampton's annual armed forces parade 2017.

Northampton's annual armed forces parade 2017.

They were followed by the 118 Recovery Company (REME), who were exercising their new freedom of the borough having been based in Northampton for 50 years.

Serving troops, veterans and cadets also took part as the parade marched along Woodhill, Abington Street, St Giles Terrace and St Giles Street, before ending at the Guildhall.

The Mayor of Northampton Councillor Gareth Eales and Lord Lieutenant, Mr David Laing gave a speech to the troops and well-wishers, before the official salute and national anthem were performed.

Following the parade and speeches, visitors enjoyed live music in Market Square, viewed vintage army vehicles and visited the stalls of armed forces organisations such as Help for Heroes, Rewards for Forces, the Royal Marines Association, the Grenadier Guards and Blind Veterans UK.

The car caused some disruption after it was left parked in a bay outside the Guildhall.

The car caused some disruption after it was left parked in a bay outside the Guildhall.

Chairman of the Northampton branch of the Royal British Legion Philip York said the car did cause some concerns.

It is understood the driver was not aware the road was to be closed off the next morning and had inadvertently left the vehicle outside the steps of the building, where the parade was due to begin.

He said: "There was just that initial worry because it had been there from 10pm the night before.

"The way things are at the moment, it was important to make sure the vehicle was okay."

Northampton's annual armed forces parade 2017.

Northampton's annual armed forces parade 2017.

Police contacted the driver through the DVLA and later confirmed that it had been left in error.

For more photos from the parade pick up a copy of Thursday's Chron.

Mayor Gareth Eales gives a speech outside the Guildhall.

Mayor Gareth Eales gives a speech outside the Guildhall.