The very best of British

The Battle of Britain ball organised by the RAFA
The Battle of Britain ball organised by the RAFA

THE ERA of one of Britain’s most famous conflicts was recreated by a military support charity to raise money to help service personnel and their families.

The Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) held a Battle of Britain Ball at Leigh Miners Welfare Institute to raise money for their annual week-long Wings appeal.

Around 240 people packed out the room to raise around £700 for the appeal, with both serving military personnel and civilians coming together to help support those working in the RAF and their relatives.

The evening brought back to life the sounds of the 1940s, with the 16-piece Brian Ward Orchestra leading the dancing with the toe-tapping rhythms of big band swing and jazz, interspersed with numbers sung by Heather Marie.

There was also a solemn start, with Wigan Cadets joining the RAFA members for a moving sunset service and dedication to those who have lost their lives in service, and a patriotic Union Jack-waving finale to the strains of Land of Hope and Glory.

There was also a marching display from Wigan Cadets and a raffle, with prizes donated including Spitfire and Lancaster Bomber beers.

Chief Tech Scott Lancaster, who organised the ball, said: “The Leigh RAFA branch is a wonderful mixture of people but when I joined it was clearly obvious we needed to tap into a younger membership, so I came up with the idea of a ball as music is something all ages can relate to.

“I am confident this event will now become a permanent fixture in the town’s social calendar, and many people were asking about the work RAFA carry out.

“To see so many people laughing and genuinely enjoying themselves for the whole evening made me one very proud airman, and we are already planning for next year and hoping to make it even more special.”

The Leigh branch of the RAFA meets at Leigh Miners Welfare Institute on Twist Lane on the final Thursday of each month starting at 8pm.

To find out more email scott.lancaster951@mod.co.uk