April 25, 2014 3.53 pm This story is over 120 months old

RAF Waddington celebrates Freedom of the City in Lincoln

Freedom parade: RAF Waddington squadrons marched through Lincoln to mark 55 years of its Freedom of the City.

Squadrons from RAF Waddington marched through Lincoln to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the station being granted the Freedom of the City by the City of Lincoln Council.

RAF Waddington paraded through the city two armed flights with bayonets fixed and the Standards of 14, 8, 51 and 54 (R) and 2503 squadrons. Additionally, they were accompanied by RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums, led by Major Finlay MacGhee, and the RAF Waddington Voluntary Band conducted by David Jackson.

The group set off at 11.30am on April 25 from City Square, travelling along Sincil Street, Cornhill, High Street to the Guildhall, before turning left along Newland Street and finishing at Orchard Street.

The Freedom of the City is an honour conferred by a City Council upon a military unit, grants the unit the privilege of marching into the city, “with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed.”

The honour is bestowed upon local regiments in recognition of their dedicated service.

Wing Commander Alex Hicks, leading the march, said: “It was a great honour to lead the men and women of RAF Waddington during the Freedom of Lincoln Parade, many of whom have recently returned from operations throughout the world, including Afghanistan.

“The Freedom of Lincoln Parade is a very special day in the RAF Waddington calendar as it cements the close bond that exists between RAF Waddington and the local community.

“Our relationship with the local community has been forged over many years and is as strong today as it has ever been.

“It means a great deal to the personnel of RAF Waddington that we are supported by the local community and we are all very proud to be able to exercise the right to march through the city.”

Mayor of Lincoln, Patrick Vaughan, said: “It’s an honour to host this parade for RAF Waddington and honour those who work to protect our country, putting their lives on the line for the sake of ours.

“It’s important to remember the role RAF Waddington has in the history of the area, to recognise the major contribution it has made to Lincoln and the long and proud relationship it has with the city.”