Stagecoach supports Armed Forces Day with free travel across Lancaster and Morecambe
and live on Freeview channel 276
The day is an opportunity for the public to show its support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.
One man supporting Armed Forces Day is 64-year-old Stagecoach bus driver Steve Trainor.
Steve organises the Morecambe and Heysham Poppy Appeal on behalf of the local British Legion each year and also set up the ‘Morecambe Poppy Scatter’ initiative 10 years ago.
He still regularly tends to the large poppy bed in Happy Mount Park and has plans for a memorial at the cenotaph for the animals that lost their lives in the war too.
Due to his incredible fundraising, Steve was asked to light the Beacon in Morecambe in 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1, but even Steve was taken aback by his latest venture.
In May this year, whilst on holiday in Belgium, he joined a parade to the Menin Gate where a wreath was to be laid.
Steve said: “I knew it was VE day, I had my British Legion T-shirt on and I was just wandering around. Someone said they were doing a march, and I asked if I could join in. They said they’d be honoured. I was introduced to the Belgian President of the Royal British Legion, and he asked if I would lay a wreath on behalf of the people of the UK. I almost fell through the floor in shock."
Steve said it was the most nerve wracking thing he has ever done in his life.
“I was terrified," he said. "As I walked up with the president, I had tears in my eyes. It was so emotional, even now when I talk about it, I get leaky eyes. What an honour for a bus driver from Morecambe to do that.”
Events are planned across Lancashire, including in Morecambe, where for the first time Armed Forces Day will also honour the 'blue light' services.
On Saturday, military, cadet organisations, charity stalls, and local businesses will be on Morecambe Promenade and Morecambe Platform.
On Sunday, a parade will start from the clock tower at 11am and will march to the bay arena for a drumhead service.
As a show of appreciation for their hard work, bravery and commitment to serving our country, armed forces personnel wearing their uniform, carrying a military ID card and veterans wearing a veteran’s badge or medals will be entitled to ride for free on any Stagecoach bus.
Rob Jones, managing director for Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire, said: “Our Armed Forces do an invaluable job, and we are immensely proud of their dedication and courage. We hope that personnel choosing to travel to a local event will have an enjoyable day and we are delighted to show our appreciation for their commitment to our country.”