THOUSANDS turned out in the sunshine over the weekend to celebrate the best of the armed services.

Stow Maries Aerodrome and Promenade Park in Maldon were the settings for Armed Forces Day.

Two special all-day events saw vintage military vehicles, marches and speeches of commemoration.

The sun shone on Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome on Saturday with more than 100 cadets on site, including Essex Army Cadets from B Company, Essex Air Cadets from 2531 Squadron and Maldon Sea Scouts.

Clacton Veterans Breakfast Club also paraded with the Royal British Legion Standard Party.

An aerodrome spokesman said: “The parade really was a display of all our forces.”

Deputy Lord Lieutenant Nick Alston was the Senior Parade Officer and was joined by Maldon District Council’s Chairman Bob Boyce as well as aerodrome CEO Ian Flint, Chair of Trustees Peter Martin and Padre Mary Cottee.

Local Author Lizzie Page was also on-site signing books.

The public got the opportunity to be taken up close, to a display of vintage aircraft on a flight line walk.

On Sunday, The Essex Historic Military Vehicle Association had their display of trucks, tanks and equipment from bygone eras.

Colin Tebb, Chairman of the HMVA, said: "We are very pleased with how the event went, it was a beautiful sunny day in fantastic surroundings at the Maldon Prom, we had a few thousand visitors through the day and our members did a brilliant job with their vehicles and displays combined with the council making it a fantastic free family event."

Organiser and Veteran Shaun Morgan added: "A lot of the public's understanding of the military is only from television or film so events like Armed Forces day are a fantastic way for the public to see how we actually worked and the equipment we used in the field, often people will come up to Jack Scott's Scorpion Tank and are very surprised how cramped the conditions are inside for a three man crew."

Camera club member John Guiver also took some stunning shots at the event.