CROWDS of people took to the streets of Basingstoke as the town celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.

The Central Band of the RAF Regiment led a ceremonial parade on Thursday last week at the event organised by the Basingstoke Branch of the RAF Association.

The parade featured the standards of the three RAF Odiham squadrons, Royal Air Force Odiham officers, service veterans and Air Training Corps cadets, marching from the town centre to the War Memorial, outside the Civic Offices in London Road.

At the stroke of 11am, a single Chinook from RAF Odiham flew over the parade and distinguished guests, marking the beginning of the ceremony.

A short service was conducted at the war memorial with readings from Group Captain Turner, station commander at RAF Odiham, the Royal Air Forces Association and the RAF Cadets.

Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin, RAF Association south east & eastern area president, also delivered the Dedication of the Royal Air Forces Association, with Basingstoke MP Maria Miller also giving a reading.

After the parade the massed crowds had the opportunity to look around a number of stalls, including the survival equipment section which had a survival raft on display, the RAF Regiment section which brought a number of weapon systems including the .50 Heavy Machine Gun and the 7.62 Sharpshooter rifle, as well as the RAF careers roadshow.

Those in attendance were entertained by the Military Wives Choir and could chat to uniformed personnel while enjoying the fine weather.