RAF St Athan marks 80 years with freedom parade
Members of RAF St Athan walked through Barry to celebrate 80 years since it was first established and 100 years of the Royal Air Force.
On Sunday 9 September, around 390 RAF personnel met at King Square in Barry, before marching down Holton Road to the Council’s Civic Offices.
The event was attended by Vale of Glamorgan Mayor Cllr Leighton Rowlands, Council Leader John Thomas, Vale Council Managing Director Rob Thomas, and Secretary of State for Wales Rt Hon Alun Cairns, Lord Leiutenant and the High Sheriff.
It was the final of 5 parades that RAF St Athan has led across south Wales.
The Parade Commander, Wing Commander Steve Rowley, marched with a rare RAF Claymore Sword, one of only three known to exist in the UK.
The Freedom Sword was gifted to the Vale of Glamorgan Council in 1974 when RAF St Athan was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the county borough. The sword was last paraded in 2013, but this is the first time that a Station Commander has carried the sword in a Freedom Parade.
Vale of Glamorgan Mayor Cllr Leighton Rowlands, said: “It was a great honour to allow RAF St Athan to exercise their freedom to march through the streets of Barry to celebrate their 100 years. It was wonderful to see so many people support and pay tribute to past, present and future RAF members.”
An RAF100 exhibition is currently on display at Cowbridge & District Museum in Cowbridge Town Hall. The exhibition is a celebration of engineering training, aircraft storage and aircraft engineering excellence carried out at RAF, as well as local people who served in the RAF. The display will run until 20 October.