Armed Forces Week, taking place from the 20-26 June, is Blackpool's opportunity to say thank you to our heroes.
To mark the national event, we are welcoming serving military personnel, veterans and cadets with a wide range of activities targeted at them and their families, as well as the many thousands of people visiting Blackpool.
Armed Forces Week - Flag Raising Ceremony
20 June 2022
Time: 10:30am flag raising
Location: Town Hall
Blackpool Armed forces week officially begins with the raising of the Armed Forces Day Flag above the Town Hall.
22 June 2022
Location: Marton Institute, Oxford Square, Blackpool, FY4 4DR
Tickets: FREE ENTRY, no ticket required.
Marton Institute host an evening of entertainment: Singer, bingo and a raffle to celebrate Armed Forces Week. A free of charge Hot Pot supper will also be served during the evening.
Coral Island - The Bucaneer
23 June 2022
Times: Between 15:00 – 18:30
Location: The Buccaneer, Coral Island
Tickets: Booking is required, and a fully-refundable deposit of £5 to secure a place call 01253 922182.
Armed Forces Week in Blackpool is an opportunity to say thank you to the hard-working men and women, and at Coral Island, we want to give our thanks too.
On Thursday 23 June, serving members of the Armed Forces and veterans are invited to join us at The Buccaneer, Coral Island’s family bar and restaurant for a two-course carvery meal and complimentary drink between 3 pm and 6.30 pm.
It is expected to be a popular event, so booking is required, and a fully-refundable deposit of £5 to secure a place, which can be done by calling 01253 922182.
This year, places will be opened to local families from local groups too, and we will also be inviting members of local children’s organisation’s such as the Scouts, Cubs, Sea Cadets, and Brownies to come and enjoy the entertainment at Coral Island.
Each child will receive £3 worth of two pence pieces to try their luck on the penny-pushers, a traditional seaside arcade activity, a VIP card, and a voucher for a kids meal and drink from Peggy’s Snack Bar from 5pm onwards. To register your interest as a children’s organisation please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that you will all come and join us in showing support to our brave servicemen and women this June and that our invited Armed Forces personnel and veterans enjoy our complimentary hospitality as a token of our gratitude for the work they have done for the UK.
Fylde Memorial Arboretum
24 June 2022
Time: 11:00 – 12:30
Location: Millennium Grove, Moor Park Avenue, Blackpool, FY2 0LY
Founded by Don Aiken, a D-Day Veteran and located in the fields next to Moor park school, the Fylde Memorial Arboretum stands as an area of remembrance that provides the service associations, and the people of Blackpool and the Fylde, a place of peace and beauty in which to remember their fallen comrades and loved ones.
As part of Blackpool Armed Forces week, the Fylde Ex-Service Liaison Committee will host a service of dedication at the centre of the Memorial Arboretum's Glade area.
National Armed Forces Day
25 June 2022
Location: Hangar 42 Spitfire Visitor Centre, Blackpool Airport, Squires Gate Lane, FY4 2QY
This year Blackpool's Armed Forces Day event will take place at Blackpool Airport, partnering with the Spitfire Visitor Centre, Hangar 42.
There will be a range of activities and displays taking place at the Airport to mark the vital role that the UK Armed Forces have played in the past, are currently taking part in and their potential roles in the future.
The Spitfire Visitor Centre this year focuses on the Royal Air Force in World War Two and the vital part played by Groundcrews and Aircrews serving at RAF Squires Gate. The team of volunteers will bring to life the realities of wartime Blackpool and sacrifices' rolls played by the local residents, in supporting the War effort.
There will also be a Polish Heritage Flight Hawker Hurricane in attendance. Following its ground run at 11am, the fighter plane will take to the skies at 2pm to wow spectators.
Entry to the Spitfire Visitor Centre: Adults: £6 | Children 8-16: £4 | 7 and under: Free. Please note that entry is FREE for serving members of the UK Armed Forces and Veterans and their family members upon production of ID such as MOD 90, Veterans badge etc… (Max 4 per party)
Strictly no pets allowed inside Hangar 42. There is free car parking and disabled facilities available.
Football Community Trust
21 June - 25 June 2022
In the lead-up to Armed Forces Day, Blackpool Football Club Community Trust are holding events to celebrate the occasion:
- On Tuesday 21 June, local veterans are invited to attend a free Stadium Tour at Bloomfield Road.
- On Wednesday 22 June, their weekly NAAFI Break will be taking place at The Corner Flag at Bloomfield Road Stadium. Armed Forces veterans are encouraged to come along to enjoy a bacon or sausage sandwich and a cup of NATO tea or coffee for a small donation of £1.
- On Thursday 23 June, their Veterans Walk and Talk sessions and Forces Football provide an opportunity for veterans to come together in celebration of the event.
- On Friday 24 June, transport will be provided by Blackpool FC Community Trust for any veterans wishing to attend the Fylde Memorial Arboretum & Community Woodland for a memorial service.
- On Saturday 25 June, Blackpool FC Community Trust are planning a trip for veterans to attend an Open Day in Hangar 42 at Blackpool Airport.
If you would like to come along on any of the trips or activities mentioned above, please contact Tony at email@example.com or call 01253 348691.
Sunday Morning Service & Parade
26 June 2022
Time: Assemble from 10:30 | Service 11:00 | Parade approx 11:30
Location: Blackpool Cenotaph/Promenade
Blackpool comes together to honour and unite Britain’s Armed Forces past, present and future in an emotional and fitting tribute to the Armed Forces past, present and future.
Attending the service will be veteran’s associations, cadets, serving military as well as their friends, families and associates. Everyone is welcome to the service of appreciation that takes place within the grounds of Blackpool Grade II listed War Memorial.
Following the service, Blackpool invites members of the Armed Forces, veterans and cadets to join in the military parade. Friends, family and members of the general public are invited to line the route, cheer and wave.
Those wanting to lay wreaths may do so after the service.
Revolution Blackpool - Armed Forces Celebration
26 June 2022
Location: 35 Market Street, Blackpool, FY1 1EX. 12pm - 3pm
After the Sunday Parade, head to Revolution Blackpool. There will be free hot drinks and delicious cake for ex and present military with live music from their fabulous singer Nicole Violet. Enjoy 25% off food and drink for the day and for the rest of the month for service men and women. Find out more.
Armed Forces Covenant
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated fairly and should not face disadvantages when seeking to access public or private goods and services in the UK.
The Covenant is a voluntary pledge. Organisations may choose to sign up in order to demonstrate their support for the Armed Forces Community and for the principles of the Covenant. All organisations – public, private or voluntary and small, medium or large – are welcome to sign the Covenant.”
Organisations can sign up here.
Step back in time
Did you know Blackpool maintained its tourism offer throughout World War Two and gave many holidaymakers, and soldiers on leave, a chance to temporarily escape and forget the horrors of war? The town also had two operational RAF airfields and even manufactured bomber aircraft.
Heritage Blackpool has been working closely with Blackpool Gazette, a local newspaper which has been delivering and reporting on life and events in Blackpool for over 100 years, to archive important moments in history for us to view in years to come.
In 2020, Blackpool Gazette kindly provided more than 120 digitised images of Blackpool during WW2 from their archive – and you can view them for free! These photos offer a glimpse into the past to see how the UK’s most loved seaside resort played a crucial role throughout the war. Discover Blackpool’s war-time history here.
How can children get involved?
There are plenty of opportunities for children to learn all about World War I and World War II. We have uploaded some colouring sheets below which are a useful way to introduce the importance of veterans and our Armed Forces to your little one. All you need to do is download and print. Happy colouring!