Andover town centre welcomed residents and visitors to watch the Test Valley Freedom Parade.

On a rainy Friday, July 14 evening, service personnel from 22 Engineer Regiment and the Tidworth Army Band produced a special display as they exercised the Freedom of Test Valley.

The freedom of the borough is the highest award that the council can bestow. Those granted the freedom can march through the streets with swords drawn, colours flying, and drums beating.

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This was the second occasion that the parade has taken place in Andover, following the inaugural event in 2016.

The parade started just as the rain began to clear up at 6pm on Bridge Street before travelling up the High Street where the troops assembled in front of the Guildhall.

A formal inspection was conducted by the Lord Lieutenant Nigel Atkinson, Major General Richard Clements, and the Mayor for Test Valley, Cllr Philip Lashbrook, before a speech from the Lord Lieutenant, and blessing from Reverend Paul Bradish.

Cllr Lashbrook, said: "From my personal point of view as mayor, it is such an honour to be here today and experience this unique event. It is not a widely held event but is entirely worthwhile, as it helps makes the public aware of the special relation this area has with the Armed Forces, and a relationship that I hope continues.

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"Our soldiers have kept the peace for a long time and long make it continue. Sadly there is war in Ukraine and these men have been helping to train Ukrainian forces to bring peace and success to their land, and I wish them every success in doing so."

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Cllr Phil North, said: "The British Army marches in all weathers. Great to see 22 Engineer Regiment exercise their Freedom of the Borough of Test Valley with a parade in Andover town centre this evening.

"Thank you to the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson, and the Mayor of Test Valley, Phil Lashbrook, for officiating. A proud day for Andover and Test Valley."