New Mayor of Shefford proud to sign Armed Forces Covenant

'It has given me a chance to say thank you to all the Service Personnel who give so much to maintain our freedoms'

By News Reporter
Thursday, 1st July 2021, 1:02 pm

The new Mayor of Shefford was proud to sign the Armed Forces Covenant to pay respect to the country’s military heroes and their families.

Last Saturday (June 26), Councillor Ken Pollard signed the covenant in the Market Square to mark Armed Forces Day and say thank you to all service personnel “who give so much to maintain our freedoms”.

The covenant is a pledge that acknowledges and understands that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

The signing of the covenant. Photo: Shefford Town Council.

The mayor made a speech to those in attendance, stating: “I served in the Royal Air Force for 14 years, with almost half of my service being at Parachute Test Unit RAF Henlow.

“We tested military and civilian parachutes, dropping them over Henlow Airfield as well as on Salisbury Plain and a drop zone in Scotland.

“Occasionally, we even had to go to Cyprus on detachment to carry out testing; it was wonderful posting, and I loved every minute. I also spent three years cataloguing a Parachute Museum, held on behalf of the RAF Museum.

“This included Winston Churchill’s overcoat that he always wore when he flew during the war years; there was a parachute harness under the coat, just in case of an accident.

“The timing of the event was spot on, having just been elected Mayor and, with Armed Forces Day being soon after, it has given me a chance to say thank you to all the Service Personnel who give so much to maintain our freedoms that we take for granted every day. They deserve our gratitude and thanks.”

Those present to witness the signing were (pictured from left to right in the photograph): Paul Mackin, previous Mayor and Shefford councillor; Dave Allan, Chair of the Shefford branch of the Royal British Legion; Audrey White, member of the Shefford History Group; Rene Madsen, Shefford Deputy Mayor; Flight Lieutenant Nicky Vadera, Henlow Air Traffic Control; and Brian McGivener, President of the Shefford branch of the Royal British Legion.

> Cllr Ken Pollard replaces Cllr Paul Mackin as Town Mayor. Read more about Mr Mackin’s service in next week’s Chronicle.