THE popular Mayor of Neath Port Talbot’s Armed Forces Festival has returned to Neath Port Talbot for October and November.
The event began with a Remembrance Concert in the Princess Royal Theatre Port Talbot on Friday 27th October. Hosted by Mal Pope, the evening featured performances from Welsh singing star Sophie Evans, Neath Male Choir, The City of Swansea Pipe Band and Cerdd NPT Music. The concert ended with a Remembrance Service, a silence and thousands of falling poppies.
On Saturday 28th October Port Talbot’s Aberafan Shopping Centre was the venue for the launch of the Royal British Legion Port Talbot’s Poppy Appeal, the dedication of the Garden of Remembrance and an information day. The day included a flag raising ceremony, together with information stalls, and the ‘Poignant Heroes Gallery Exhibition’ – telling the story of those from the Neath Port Talbot area who were involved, both on the battlefield and the home front, in the 1914-19 conflict which became known as ‘The Great War’.
There were also military vehicles at the shopping centre throughout the day – a British 1941 Bedford lorry and a military jeep.
Another highlight was the display of entries for the ‘Art of Being a Military Child Competition’. The competition, open to children from military families in Neath Port Talbot, was run in conjunction with this year’s festival and asked children and young people for their interpretation of ‘Being a Military Child’ in Art – a poem, short story, or a picture. The prizes were presented to the competition winners during the day by the Mayor of Neath Port Talbot.
The Mayor of Neath Port Talbot, Councillor Chris Williams said:
“The annual festival is designed to pay tribute to the Armed Forces and their families in Neath Port Talbot, both the fallen and veterans from the two World Wars and other global conflicts. It also honours those currently serving and their families for the ongoing contribution they make at home and abroad.
“We are delighted once again to be supporting the Royal British Legion Port Talbot’s Poppy Appeal launch”.
“It is also good to know that so many individuals and organisations are getting involved in this year’s event. I hope lots of people go along to the events to support our Armed Forces Community and the Poppy Appeal.”
In addition to the concert and information day, Neath Port Talbot Libraries will be holding a series of remembrance themed events over the next few weeks, including craft sessions, displays and talks.
The festival’s events will be in addition to parades and community events being staged by veterans, their families and supporters in communities across Neath Port Talbot in the run up to and including Remembrance Sunday.