The Ministry of Defence took pride of place at the Springfield Recreation Ground as Corsham’s summer fete kicked off with an Armed Forces theme.

The free event – jointly opened by town council chairman Ruth Hopkinson and MoD Corsham director Gerry Cantwell – featured a memorial flypast by a Battle of Britain Spitfire and a Hurricane.

Following the decision not to mark Armed Forces Day two weeks ago, the fete saw the full force of the town’s military connections come to the fore.

Coun Hopkinson said: “I thought it was fantastic. We were blessed with the weather and we had a huge turnout.

“Everybody seemed to be going round with big smiles on their faces.

“We wanted to combine our usual summer fete with Armed Forces Day, so we could have the flypast and more of the forces available.

“The forces put an awful lot of work in, supporting the organisation of the fete, and the flypast was brilliant, as they came over and doubled round a few times and were quite low over the houses.”

Crowds enjoyed animal and falconry displays and a dog show, along with performances from bands and artists, including the Rough Street Jug Band, Gita’s Choir and First Step Dance.

The Pound Arts Centre was also involved for the first time, hosting musical workshops and performances.

Coun Hopkinson said: “With their involvement, we can bring together all the various elements of the town.

“We can use the brawn of the military, the artistic creativity of the Pound and the town council’s organisation and funding to produce something excellent.”

Charity Colborne, of The Pound, said: “We had two people playing the West African harp and a lot of people returned to the Pound in the evening for the main performance.

“We would love to get involved again, as it was a really great event.”