Headley Court's Farewell Parade
Updated 4 October 2017
DORKING PACKED WITH WELL-WISHERS AT HEADLEY COURT'S FAREWELL PARADE
Dorking's streets were packed last Friday as crowds of well-wishers lined the pavements awash with red, white and blue flags. Music, cheering and great excitement filled the town as residents and business alike showed their support for Headley's personnel as they marched through the High Street.
Headley Court's parade was a fitting celebratory 'farewell' to the District before the facility moves to its new home in the East Midlands in 2018. It was pre-ceded by a private church service at St Martin's Church, Dorking to give thanks to the military and civilian staff working at the Defence Military Rehabilitation Centre.
The Countess of Wessex was in attendance throughout and took the salute from the armed forces, including representatives from the Army, Navy and Air Force in the middle of Dorking's High Street.
The parade was led by the prestigious Band of the Household Cavalry in their full ceremonial gold uniforms. Over 200 participants marched, including DMRC Military, DMRC Civilians, Association Members and Cadets.
The parade ended outside Mole Valley's civic offices where the Royal Standard was raised, followed by the playing of the National Anthem. The event ended with a front line inspection of the assembled Troops by The Countess of Wessex, Group Captain, Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff, Chairman of Mole Valley District Council and the Chairman of Surrey County Council. Invited guests then attended a short reception within Dorking Halls.
Councillor Vivienne Michael, Leader of Mole Valley District Council said, "We are very proud of the close partnership we have maintained throughout Headley Court's time in Mole Valley, including awarding them the Freedom of the District in 2010, and wish them well in their new facilities in the East Midlands.
"It is wonderful to see so many supporters come out on a Friday afternoon to recognise the contribution that Headley Court and our armed forces make to our national life. I'm sure that this important, celebratory event will be remembered by many for years to come. Thank you to everyone who has attended."
Councillor Simon Ling, Chairman of Mole Valley District Council said, "Whilst we are sad to say goodbye to all the staff and personnel from Headley Court, we celebrate their time with us and wish them well in the move to their new, purpose-built new facility."
Commanding Officer in Chief of DMRC Headley Court Teresa Griffiths said, "The closure of Headley Court signifies the end of a unique chapter in the history of Surrey.
"Today is a day of thanksgiving when we celebrate the special relationship that has developed and flourished over the decades between the Unit and Mole Valley. The Unit will forever be indebted to the people of Mole Valley for the friendship, support and love shown to Headley Court through some very difficult and challenging times.
"We hope that despite the distance of our new home that you will continue to support our endeavours in caring for the injured soldiers, sailors and airmen that will always find themselves in need of our care. We now look to the future as you hand over the baton of responsibility to Rushcliffe Borough Council and the people of the East Midlands."
Friday 29 September 2017
On Friday 29th September 2017 at 1.40pm from Pump Corner, servicemen and women from Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) will parade through Dorking's High Street as a celebratory farewell to the District, before the facility moves to its new home in Loughborough.
Residents, schools and businesses are being encouraged to come out and pack the High Street to support the armed forces, veterans, cadets and other personnel from Headley Court as they pass through Dorking's High Street which will be closed for this memorable occasion. The Countess of Wessex will attend.
The event begins with a private thanksgiving service at St Martin's Church at 12.30pm, followed by the march through Dorking High Street at 1.40pm. A military salute will take place on the route from St Martin's church, along the High Street, ending at Mole Valley District Council's Pippbrook offices.
Leader of Mole Valley District Council, Councillor Vivienne Michael is calling for Mole Valley's residents and businesses to show their support and attend on the day, saying, "It has been a real honour to have this facility located in Mole Valley and I'm sure residents and businesses alike will want to come and be part of this impressive spectacle, celebrating the important contribution Headley Court has made both locally and nationally and wishing the facility farewell.
"Back in 2013, Headley Court's parade was supported by over 5,000 well-wishers who came and lined the streets throughout Dorking as part of Armed Forces week and we look forward to recreating the buzz and excitement again this year.
"I encourage everyone to come out to watch the parade, wave their red, white and blue flags and cheer on our armed forces, honouring their time in our District as they march through the High Street."
Commanding Officer DMRC Headley Court, Teresa Griffiths said, "This is the first of many events planned as part of our transition to our new facility at Stanford Hall, Loughborough in 2018. Everyone involved with Headley Court is looking forward to this parade in Dorking, particularly with a representative from the royal family in attendance. We are proud to have the opportunity to march through the High Street.
"Mole Valley District Council has been a close supporter of all the work that takes place at Headley Court and this parade shows the significance the Armed Forces place on the strong bond between Headley Court and the local community in which it serves."
Dorking's High Street will be closed for all vehicles from approximately 1pm until 2.15pm as the military parade passes through. Diversions will be in place enabling drivers to pass through the town during this period. Roads to be closed under the Town Police Clauses Act - Church Street, North Street, West Street and Dorking High Street from Pump Corner to Dorking Halls. The closure will also affect all tributary roads leading on to the High Street from Pump Corner to Dorking Halls, namely Mill Road, Ansell Road, Wathen Road, Old London Road, Lyons Court, Dene Street, Paper Mews and Moores Road.
Car Park 'Closures'
Once the road closures are in place and during the parade itself, the following car parks will be inaccessible - no cars will be able to travel in or out of them:
St Martin's Walk
Social Media hashtag - #farewellheadley
Headley Court is the home of the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) which serves to return injured or seriously ill military personnel to optimum physical and psychological fitness in the shortest possible time.