Sunday, 6 May 2012

Forces March - Friday 25th May 2012

The Veterans Charity and participants of the Forces March 2012 have invited the citizens of Aller to lead the Forces March from The Old Pound Inn, to Langport on Friday 25th May 2012 and to carry the 2012 "EMBLEM OF COURAGE" for this section of its 132 mile journey to Bulford.

 2012 is the 70th Anniversary of the original training march from Ilfracombe to Bulford which was undertaken by 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1942. Find out more on the Forces March website.

It is not anticipated that the Emblem of Courage will reach the Old Pound before 17.40 and there will be a Marshall at the pub beforehand to brief the party before the Emblem is due. Good footwear is strongly recommended.
There’s no limit on numbers, minimum or maximum, but we think at least one adult or senior should be with the group. Juniors aged 12 and over are welcome.

There will be a collection for the Veterans Charity at the start of the walk, donations please to the Collector at the Old Pound Inn before set off. Volunteers are also needed to actually carry The Emblem of Courage. It is on a 7' brass pole and could be quite heavy, even with its carrying harness, though carriers may change around if required every half mile or so. A pace of 3.5 miles per hour must be maintained.

The whole March is on roads, and the participants are on the right facing the traffic except when there is a proper footpath on the left. We have a lead vehicle with lights on and a flashing orange light, but that vehicle by late afternoon may be well ahead with one of the Marathon runners. So far we have found that on-coming traffic slows and behaves with great courtesy and care, but everybody needs to be on the look out for that one driver who is not as cautious.

The handover point between Aller and Langport is the junction on the A 372 where New Road turns east and becomes Somerton Road. There is a petrol; station on that junction. There will be Marshals there to supervise the handover of the Emblem, and there should be enough space for the cars to collect walkers for the return journey.

The participants will have covered over 24 miles by the time to they get to Aller and Langport and things may be running late. There are a number of mini-emblems for by-standers to hold and wave. If you wish to take part, require a mini-emblem for the day, or want to find out more please contact Tracie at (01458 250890).

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