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Norwich gets ready for Battle of Britain

Published on Thursday, 7th September 2017

Final preparations are underway as the city gets set to mark Battle of Britain next week.

Battle of Britain parade and Freedom of the City – Monday 11 September

In Norwich, Battle of Britain will be opened on Monday 11 September at 11:30am with a parade by RAF Marham accompanied by The Band of the Royal Air Force College in front of City Hall.

RAF Marham will exercise its Freedom of the City by parading with bayonets fixed.

All are invited to attend this poignant occasion – often described as a “decisive battle” and “turning point” in World War Two – to be opened by the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor David Fullman.

There will be a flypast by a Spitfire over City Hall at midday.

Please note: In the event of severe weather, the marching parade will be cancelled and a small service will take place in St Peter Mancroft Church. Public seating will, regrettably, be limited.

Road closures – Monday 11 September

The whole of St Peters Street and the part of Bethel Street from where it joins St Peters Street up to Little Bethel Street will be closed from 7am until 1pm.

There will be no loading or parking on St Giles from the point it joins St Peters Street up to St Giles multi-storey car park from 7am until 1pm and vehicles leaving St Giles Carpark during this time will be redirected down Upper Goat Lane.

City Hall main entrance

Visitors to City Hall will not be able to use the main entrance on St Peters Street from 11am until 12:15pm and so are advised to use the side entrance on Bethel Street during this time.

What is Battle of Britain?

Although other days during the battle saw fiercer fighting and heavier losses, 15 September 1940 is the only day when two large daylight raids were made on London.

German intelligence indicated that RAF Fighter Command was on the brink of collapse and it was believed that the raids would provide the knockout blow needed to gain the air superiority sought by Germany’s Luftwaffe.

Instead, the raids were convincingly met by the massed fighters of the RAF. The Luftwaffe lost 60 aircraft and morale was badly shaken.

Nearly 3,000 RAF personnel, known as 'the few' took part in the battle, 76 years ago; pilots who were not just British but serving alongside many from other countries such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, united in their fight against Nazi Germany.

Battle of Britain service – Sunday 17 September

A public service will take place at Norwich Cathedral on Sunday 17 September and everyone attending is asked to be seated by 10:45am for an 11am start.