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Thousands celebrate Armed Forces Day across the Black Country

By Liam Keen | Walsall | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

Armed Forces Day was celebrated across the Black Country, with one event finishing with a parachute jump from a helicopter.

Events were held across the region, including West Park in Wolverhampton, Dartmouth Park in West Bromwich, Veseyans Rugby Club in Walsall and Himley Hall near Dudley.


The scorching temperatures meant families came in their hundreds to West Park on Saturday.

Armed forces day in Dartmouth Park


Children were treated to a funfair with a variety of rides and food and drink stalls.

Each service of the armed forces was represented at the event.

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There were stalls for each, with one including a paintball range.

Wolfie and Wendy with Major Sylvia Parkin and Chief Warrant Officer Brandon Hall at West Park


Charities such as Wings Appeal, Help For Heroes and The Royal British Legion also had stalls set up alongside armed forces recruitment tents.

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Help For Heroes volunteer, Carol Winterbottom, gives up her free time to help the charity at fundraising events.

It's a cause close to her heart as her brother Andy Morris, aged 47, previously served two tours of Afghanistan and Iraq for The Royal Yeomanry.

Dicky Dodd at West Park


He now serves as a Sergeant Major in the Telford regiment.

Carol, aged 44, from Wolverhampton, said: “Days like this are vital, it brings all the forces together in one place, everyone is here.

"People can get behind the armed forces, look at recruitment, but also help us charities raise money.

Tony Machin from Wednesfield in his 1950's Jeep at West Park


"It's really important and I really enjoy coming to the events and being with the public.

"It's nice to have the community come together and have the community's support."

A band was playing on a stage at the event, which was hosted by Signal 107's Dicky Dodd.

The parachute jump at West Park. Picture: Wolverhampton Council


The day finished with a spectacular parachute jump where four men from the Wings Parachute Display Team descended on West Park.

They leaped from a helicopter above the park and one jumper had a Heroes Vodka flag attached to him, one of the sponsors of the event, who help raise money for the armed forces.

Another had a Union Jack flag, while some had orange flare smoke coming from cannisters attached to their ankles.

The parachute jump at West Park. Picture: Wolverhampton Council


They landed on their marker to cheers from the watching public before delivering a bottle of Heroes Vodka to Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Claire Darke.

She told the Express & Star: "It's really important to have an event that celebrates the armed forces, and for members of the armed forces to have a day to enjoy.

"It's worked really well and finished with a fantastic jump from the helicopter, and a safe landing.

Army Staffordshire outreach team (back left) CFN Jordan Askey and Guardsman Josh Hayward (front left) Lance Corp Rhys Hutchinson, Lance Corp Louise Willcott , organiser Wayne Turner and Private Thomas Setterington in Walsall


"To get young people involved is important and it's been a fantastic day from everyone involved.

"Thank you to the stallholders too, who put in a lot of work to be here, setting up beforehand and packing up at the end of the day."

A military parade took place at Dartmouth Park in West Bromwich, which was followed by a family fun day in the sun.

A number of stalls were open, joined by free entertainment and children's activities.

Veseyans Rugby Club in Walsall hosted their own celebration with food and drink on offer alongside a bouncy castle and face painting.

On Sunday, Himley Hall near Dudley attracted thousands of people to celebrate the work of servicemen and women.

Vintage fairground rides and craft stalls kept visitors busy, as well as a large display of historic military vehicles.

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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