Axe falls on the Battle of Britain Parade in Seaford

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THE BATTLE of Britain Parade has been cancelled in Seaford after the group which organised the popular commemoration announced plans to close.

Chairman of Seahaven’s RAFA branch Peter Bonfield said there were insufficient members for the committee so consequently the group decided to fold.

However he appealed for the community to help rescue the parade which has been part of the town for decades.

Mr Bonfield, who is the youngest Seahaven branch member at 64, said: “We haven’t got the momentum to carry it on.

“It has run for 25 years and it has run its course. I was the very first vice chairman and I actually go out as chairman.

“It’s quite a shock because we have got people that have been members for a very long time but nobody will come forward to fill the gap.

“People are so afraid of stepping forward and being landed with a job for life.It was a lot of work for me but no one was willing to come aboard and take some of the load off.

“I have been doing it for 12 years and involved with the parade since 1987.”

The nearest branch for RAFA members will now be Eastbourne or Hailsham.

Mr Bonfield said he was doing half a dozen jobs, like the wings appeal and the Battle of Britain Parade, whilst also serving as chairman for the Air Cadets.

He added: “It’s getting too much for me. We want younger members to join the branch and take over from us older people that are wearing out. I’m the youngest person below retirement age and I’m also the chair of the 1218 Squadron Air Cadets.

The branch was set up after WWII but today there are not many ex RAF people who have retired in Seahaven.

The group organised meetings every month, with tea and biscuits and talks, which attracted between 20 and 25 people.

The Battle of Britain Parade in September routinely attracted 250 people to Seaford town centre.

Mr Bonfield remembered taking part in the parade since at least 1984, but said it had probably been running for longer than that.

If you would like to help resurrect the Battle of Britain Parade, contact Peter on 01323 894763 or email pbonfield@hotmail.co.uk.