Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C


Gallery: Wickham Market’s junior cavalry sounds last post after proud pageant

14:00 24 April 2014

Members of the Suffolk Junior Cavalry get ready for their final parade

Members of the Suffolk Junior Cavalry get ready for their final parade

A troop of young riders are offering a solemn salute to a tradition that has lasted almost a quarter of a century.

Members of the Suffolk Junior Cavalry get ready for their final parade Members of the Suffolk Junior Cavalry get ready for their final parade

The Suffolk Junior Cavalry will parade for the final time next month, when it stands down as a result of depleting membership.

The cavalry first paraded at Valley Farm Riding Centre, in Wickham Market, in June 1990. Known then as the Valley Farm Mounted Troop, the unit was made up of four young riders, including current equitation instructor Amanda Melton.

Following success at charity fetes and garden parties, and with an increasing membership, the troop adopted a scarlet uniform and other military accoutrements. Former Household Cavalry member Colin Trench spent six years instructing the unit from 1996, leading to displays at the Eye Show, Heveningham Hall and Newmarket Carnival, before his death just two months before the unit’s second Eye Show.

By July 2008, the unit was known as the Suffolk Junior Cavalry, and became affiliated with the Royal British Legion (RBL) through its Wickham Market branch, for which junior officer Bettina Goode became standard bearer.

In recent years, membership has depleted, with four of the last six remaining members moving on this summer to further education or jobs.

Founder, David Foster, said: “Despite continued recruitment campaigns, we have failed to obtain the sufficient new members required to continue the operation of the unit. Therefore the decision was taken to ‘stand down’ the unit. The unit may recommence at a later date if sufficient new members wish to join.”

Over the years, the cavalry has carried out dismounted duties at various events, included parading at the Suffolk Show and marching on Anzac Day celebrations. Each year it marks Remembrance Sunday with sidesman duties during church services and the laying of wreaths at the cenotaph in Wickham Market.

Juniors have learned ceremonial sword drill and worked through different levels of ‘trade awards’ in riding and horse care. Senior riders, Jessica Green and Anya Tobin, have both completed the British Horse Society Stage 1 riding qualification.

On Sunday, May 11, the cavalry will parade for the final time at Valley Farm. Former members, parents, friends and RBL members of are invited to attend. 
Call 01473 718419 or visit

Westgate Street, Ipswich.

Fire crews have been called to a suspected gas leak in Westgate Street, Ipswich.

Artist's impression of the homes there were proposed for lane close to Poplar Lane, Sproughton.

Babergh district councillors last night said they had voted against officers’ advice and refused a 475-home development on the edge of Ipswich because its design was “appalling”.

Police at the scene of the alleged robbery

A 25-year-old man from south London who was arrested following a robbery at a convenience store in Claydon has been charged.

On going work at Ipswich Station

Work on a near-£2million refurbishment of Ipswich railway station has started – and is set to continue until August next year.

Nick Alexander, who died in the Bataclan massacre, in Paris, France. Photo: Foreign & Commonwealth Office/PA Wire.

The singer from the Eagles of Death Metal has paid tribute to Nick Alexander for his selflessness during the massacre at the Paris theatre where 89 people died almost two weeks ago.

Juliet Bellfield's charity committee has raised almost £1m for cancer care

Fellow fundraisers have paid tribute to the “inspirational” leadership of a Suffolk woman who helped generate almost £1million for cancer care.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A 43-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl has told a court he drove off in his car when he was confronted about the allegations by her father because he did not want a fight.

An artist's impression of the restored brewery.

This is a first look at how a refurbished and converted former Tolly Cobbold brewery will be at the centre of a new housing development on Ipswich waterfront.

Colin Noble

Suffolk County Council could consider increasing its element of council tax bills for the first time since 2010 following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

The A134 at Assington.

This year’s death toll on Suffolk’s roads is now the worst since 2009 after six fatalities in the last 13 days, according to police figures.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24