Armed Forces Day success

SIR, - Through your page may I take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all who have supported, guided and encouraged me this past year.

In an exceptional year that started with the memorable March to London by No7 Company HM Coldstream Guards in January, it is the Armed Forces Day - Parade of Colours in June 2010 and that I will always remember as probably one of my proudest days.

I could occupy half a rain forrest with writing of every individual but suffice it to say that I am deeply indebted to EVERY single participant in the parade, form politicians to guides, Womens Institute to Royal representatives - all will be remembered fondly by all who worked on organising and working with the parade.

To pick individuals for recognition may appear unfair or favouritism which is not my intention - but I’m sure the excellent members of the parade will not mind me thanking specially Richard Stepanenko for his fund raising efforts on the day, L/Sgt Mal Franks - Coldstream Guards and the founder of Honour Our Troops, the men of Coldstream Fire and Rescue Service - not just for taking part in the parade - but for everything they do for our Community.

Inspector Andy Clark, Sgt Jacqui McGuigan and the officers of Lothian and Borders Police for all their help, support and guidance, and the amazing job our local police also do throughout the year - often, like our fire fighters, without recognition or praise - we are extrmemly fortunate in this area to have such fine folk looking out for us.

To Lt. Col Toby Gray Coldstream Guards, Lt Col Simon Pritchard RMR (Tyne), Officer Commanding and the men of 6th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland - who were exceptional in the build up, preparation and participation in the parade. Elizabeth Reid - County Commissioner for Guides - who received recognition for her service to Coldstream and community/county youth, an amazing lady, who was completely taken by surprise - despite almost putting my foot in it! Scottish Borders Council - licencing, permits etc for all their help and advice.

I would finally thank all the members of Honour Our Troops, Annemarie, Geoff, Ann, Jax, Nat, Ewan, Sue, Chris, Mal, Nicky, Doll, Richie, Christine, Danny etc, the Rev Richard Trumayne, Callie Trumayne, for everything they did, do and give to me - unequalled friendship. support and inspiration. To the shopkeepers, businesses and community of Coldstream, Birgham, Kelso - to you all - my heartfelt thanks.

2011 Armed Forces Day in Coldstream will be on June 18. Prior to that is the ‘Bertie Bears Walk For Heroes2 when Darren Heaton’ will reach the town of Coldstream on his way to St Agnes Scilly Isles from Shetland in his power chair. I’m sure this wee Borders town, and the Borders as a whole, will welcome him into our ‘fold’. What we may lack in amenities you good people more than make up for with generosity and heart - good luck, good health, for 2011 and thank you all for what you’ve helped us achieve in 2010 - put Armed Forces Day on the map in Coldstream.

KEITH COCKBURN,

Organiser HOT/AFD - Parade of Colours,

Priory Bank,

Coldstream.