Flying the flag at RAF march

PER Ardua Ad Astra.Though as we say in Felixstowe Through Adversity to the Stars.

James Marston

PER Ardua Ad Astra.

Though as we say in Felixstowe Through Adversity to the Stars.

The Latin is, of course, the motto of the Royal Air Force which marched on the seafront on Friday evening.


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Though I wasn't taking the salute - I believe the be-chained burghers of Felixstowe enjoyed that honour - I was among the crowds massed to watch events.

With a foot-tapping soundtrack provided by a band the scene was as colourful as it was moving.

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We heard from the town clerk, a lady called Susan, who read out loud, with aplomb, the document granting the RAF the freedom of entry to the Edwardian seaside spa town half a century ago.

She said: "And also to show appreciation of the great services which they have rendered to the community over a long period and especially during the flood disaster of 1953."

As the fixed bayonets caught the bright light of the setting sun I thought to myself how very well we Britishers execute the ceremonial.

From the state opening of parliament to a Felixstowe march past we always have things nicely done and quite right too.

Of course, being British we shan't blow our own trumpets about that - we leave that to others.

Naturally there were lots of people and I spotted my friend Doreen among the civic leaders in a red skirt taking her seat in front of the gardens which provided a welcome splash of colour.

I also noted, as did a lady next to me who went as far as to take a picture of the event with her mobile telephone, with wry amusement the removal of a BMW which was illegally parked nearby.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised - policing parking is another thing us Brits do so well.

EVERYONE'S got rubbish haven't they?

Things they keep because they know they cannot possibly live without them. Things we don't want in our homes yet things so precious we put them in outbuildings and garages.

Spending a few days in the west of the county in my home village of Icklingham - a place rather like Ambridge of The Archers fame but without the constant milking - I embarked on a project to clear out my parents' garage.

For 37 years they had been unable to throw much away, it took nearly four days and four skip loads and I lost four pounds in the process and gave myself a bad back.

The things we thought we couldn't live without included:

- Two dining room sets.

- An ancient record player.

- More odd bits of crockery than I care to count - not one full set of anything.

- My pushchair - which after keeping for so long no one had the heart to throw out.

- A brass bed which caused much debate - does anyone know anywhere you can get them restored?

- Me and my sister Claire's school reports - I must try harder.

- My Dad's school reports - he must try harder too.

- Five rusty bicycles.

- A Polaroid camera - well the box.

- My mother's fondue set from the 1970s - which she managed to live without for 32 of those 37 years.

- Something called a soda stream.

And a well- preserved mummified mouse I came across in a box of table cloths.

WHAT is that silver building over in Bury St Edmunds?

Have you seen it?

Nowadays I spend much time in the east of the county but on a recent trip to great Abbey town I noticed this large silver monstrosity in the old cattle market area.

How that blends in with the medieval splendour of Bury St Edmunds I have no idea.

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