Crowds gather to watch RAF Wittering freedom parade in Peterborough city centre
A glorious Tuesday morning was the perfect setting for an RAF Wittering parade through Peterborough.
The station was granted the Freedom of Peterborough in 1983 and since then it has paraded through the city centre every two to three years to recognise the status. Spectators who lined Cathedral Square were treated to a faultless precision drill as the centre became a sea of RAF blue punctuated with polished silver bayonets and gleaming black toecaps, while military music was provided by the Band of the Royal Air force College. Squadron Leader Emma Wolstenholme, who was the parade commander, said: “It takes a lot of practice and polishing to get a parade looking perfect. I think we did really well and, judging by the warmth of the welcome we received, the people of Peterborough seemed to think so too.” Wing Commander Mike Ainsworth was joined by Mayor of Peterborough Cllr Chris Ash and Colonel Mark Knight, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, in inspecting the parade. Wing Commander Ainsworth said: “You could tell how pleased the people of Peterborough were to see us by the enthusiastic applause they gave the parade and I’d like to thank them for their welcome. Both the city and the station have done their part to make the parade a success.” The freedom parade was the first for Hywel Greening since he took over as Station Warrant Officer in December, and for Flying Officer Matt Barraclough, who was parade adjutant during the event and only commissioned as an officer in October 2018.