Final preparations for Dragoons parade

FINAL preparation are being made this morning ahead of the welcome home parade for the Light Dragoons.Thousands of people are expected to flood into Dereham to give a heroes' return to about 200 soldiers who spent a gruelling tour in Afghanistan.

FINAL preparation are being made this morning ahead of the welcome home parade for the Light Dragoons.

Thousands of people are expected to flood into Dereham to give a heroes' return to about 200 soldiers who spent a gruelling tour in Afghanistan.

Yards of police tape is currently being strung around the market place to cordon off the crowds with the town buzzing with soldiers and council workers making sure everything is in place for the big event.

Police received a last minute briefing in the town centre this morning. Added security measures have included bins and post boxes being taped up.


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Road closures and extra traffic heading to the town has caused problems for commuters and the school run, with the situation particularly bad at the Tesco roundabout off the A47 where motorists have been forced to queue up the slip road and onto the dual carriageway.

Other routes into the town have been equally busy with drivers trying to find other ways around or into the town but a police spokesman said no major traffic incidents had been reported.

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The parade starts at 11am with troops marching from the Memorial Hall, along Norwich Street, into Cowper Road, Wellington Road, through the Market Place and down Church Street,

About 800 flag-waving children are being bussed in from local schools to cheer on the troops.

Following the parade the troops will attend a service of thanksgiving at St Nicholas Church in the town.

Standards of the Royal British Legion will be presented at the start of the service.

There will be readings by Breckland Council chief executive Trevor Holden and Lt Col Gus Fair, commanding officer of the Light Dragoons and the address will be given by the Rev SE Griffith, deputy assistant Chaplain-General.

Local clergy will share in prayer and the national anthem will be sung at the end of the service.

The soldiers will then attend a civic reception at the Phoenix Hotel hosted by event organisers Breckland Council.

A number of roads will be closed during the morning to accommodate the parade route but dozens of police officers, traffic wardens and marshals will be on duty to help control traffic and give advice.

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