PREPARATIONS are under way for an action-packed three-day celebration of the Armed Forces in Southend.

Tag rugby and a vintage fair will be part of festivities for the Southend Armed Forces Day, which runs from Friday, June 27 until Sunday, June 29.

Opening the festival will be a tag rugby competition in Chalkwell Park, between 10am and 4pm, with teams from schools in the borough and Southend Spartans Rugby Club participating.

The next day, a 1940s vintage fair will be held at the end of Southend Pier, along with a parade along the High Street, starting at 10am, entertainment in the town centre, and military displays.

On the Sunday, the event will sign off with a salute on the seafront, followed by a touch rugby tournament, on City Beach.

Scott Dolling, the council’s head of economy, regeneration and tourism, said: “Armed Forces Day celebrations in Southend are a huge chance for everyone to turn out and show their support for our Armed Forces.

“There will be plenty to enjoy and take part in, on all three days, with attractions for all the family. We hope as many people as possible will come along to share in these magnificent events.”

Volunteers are also being sought for the event, with anyone willing to lend a hand over the three days being urged to get in touch.

Mr Dolling added: “This is such a good community occasion and we are also appealing for volunteers who may be able to offer their help with anything, from their talents, to transport or tea-making.”

“It would be really helpful if, for instance, someone with a minibus could help drive veterans to various parts of the events, or could help supply veterans with tea while they are manning their stalls, or entertainers prepared to give their services free on one of the performance stages.”

Residents who are interested in volunteering can call the council on 01702 215119 or email

For more information about the event, visit or follow @SouthendAFD on Twitter.



THE events which will make up Southend Armed Forces Day:

* Friday, June 27: Tag Rugby competition in Chalkwell Park, from 10am to 4pm, featuring teams from schools in Southend and Southend Spartans rugby club. Stalls will also be set up, raising money for military charities.

*Saturday, June 28: Parade along the High Street, followed by entertainment and military exercise displays. All between 10am and 5pm. Also, a 1940s vintage fair at the end of Southend Pier.

*Sunday, June 29: Seafront salute at City Beach, followed by beach touch rugby tournament, from 10am to 6pm. Live music and other fun and games.