Battle of Britain Memorial Flight set to perform fly-over near Worksop at the weekend

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is set to take to the skies near Worksop at the weekend as part of a special event at Sherwood Forest.
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The fly-over is part of a planned event organised by the new High Sheriff of Nottingham to celebrate the achievements of young people around the county.

The High Sheriff’s Forest Festival will be hosted by Professor Veronica Pickering DL - who took up the office of High Sheriff earlier this year and will celebrate youth groups, the Black, Asian and minority ethnic community and conservation efforts in the city and county.

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Among the guests at Sunday’s event will be the Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Sir John Peace and a rare gathering of High Sheriffs, with Professor Pickering’s fellow office-holders from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, South Yorkshire and Northamptonshire expected to attend.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is set to take to the skies over Sherwood Forest at the weekendThe Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is set to take to the skies over Sherwood Forest at the weekend
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is set to take to the skies over Sherwood Forest at the weekend

Joining Professor Pickering and Sir John to address the Festival will be Professor David Park, Dean of the Nottingham University Business School. The University is one of the many organisations and businesses supporting the event, along with the RSPB, the UK’s largest conservation charity, which manages the Sherwood Forest reserve.

Professor Pickering is a member of the RSPB Council and the Council’s chair, Kevin Cox, will also be among the speakers, alongside Kerrie Henton, Principal of the Stone Soup Academy, an alternative free-provision school based in Nottingham, and Nottingham entrepreneur and Deputy Lieutenant Alex Peace-Gadsby, who is former Commissioner of the English Scouts Association and chair of the Parentkind charity.

There will be contributions and performances from artists from the New Art Exchange in Nottingham and also the inspirational children’s signing choir from St Giles’ School in Retford, which educates young people with a range of difficulties and needs.

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Professor Veronica Pickering, the new High Sheriff of NottinghamProfessor Veronica Pickering, the new High Sheriff of Nottingham
Professor Veronica Pickering, the new High Sheriff of Nottingham
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There is a scheduled flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in recognition of Professor Pickering’s role as Honorary Air Commodore of the RAF’s 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron, with whom she has been working on issues of diversity and inclusion.

Other organisations represented at the event include:

  • Himmah, the largest independent food bank in Nottingham;
  • The Mojatu Foundation, a charity that works to empower and support Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in Nottingham;
  • YMCA Robin Hood Group, which provides services and support to young people;
  • The Windrush Foundation, which designs and delivers heritage projects, programmes and initiatives which highlight African and Caribbean peoples’ contributions to UK life;
  • RSPB;
  • Nottingham University Business School.

And this being Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood and Lady Marian, from The Sherwood Outlaws, will also make an appearance.

The position of High Sheriff is the oldest secular office in England after the Crown, dating back to Saxon times, and is appointed by the King.

Professor Pickering is the first Black woman to be appointed to the role of High Sheriff in Nottinghamshire.

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Born in Kenya, she moved to England in the late 1960s. She is a lifelong campaigner for diversity, young people, the arts and wildlife conservation.

She said: “It is a great privilege to be appointed High Sheriff of my county. For that county to be Nottinghamshire has a particular resonance for the office of High Sheriff too.

“The Festival is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of young people, and those organisations working for and with them, across our county. Where better for the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire to do that than in Sherwood Forest?”

Timings are as follows:

  • 12.30pm – Arrival
  • 1pm – Flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
  • 1.30pm – High Sheriff’s Reception

Performance by Freddie’s Gospel ChoirFollowed by guest speakers:Professor David Park, Dean of Nottingham University Business SchoolProfessor Veronica Pickering DL, High Sheriff of NottinghamshireRavelle-Sade Fairman, poet and performerSir John Peace, Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire

Lunch and performances

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SpeakersKevin Cox and Gemma Howarth, RSPBKerrie Henton, Principal, Stone Soup AcademyAlex Peace-Gadsby, Entrepreneur and volunteer

Performances through the afternoon

  • 3.30pm: Afternoon tea
  • 5pm: Event closes