Personnel from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose are preparing for their annual Freedom of Helston Parade.

The parade will take place on Wednesday June 11 between 10.30am and 11.15am when the Royal Navy personnel from RNAS Culdrose will exercise their privilege to march through the streets of Helston “with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing and colours flying”.

HMS Seahawk was granted the Freedom of the Borough of Helston in 1958, and the air station will exercise the right with the mayor of Helston, Councillor Mike Thomas taking the salute accompanied by the Captain Mark Garratt, commanding officer of RNAS Culdrose, and members of the town council.

The tradition of conferring freedom of a town or city dates from when fortress walls were necessary to protect its inhabitants from outlaw bands and the attacks of feudal lords.

Bodies of armed men were refused entry into the town unless the citizens were confident that they meant no harm.

The granting of permission for a formed body of armed men to enter a town became a mark of trust and confidence in which that body was held by the citizens of the town. To be granted freedom of a town or city is the greatest honour that can be bestowed on a unit within the Armed Forces.

The parade will form up in the Trengrouse Way, extension car park at 10am.

Following an inspection of the parade, the mayor of Helston and Captain Garratt will make an address, and then the parade will ‘step off’ at 10.50 am to march down Meneage Street and Coinagehall Street.

The mayor will take the salute at 11 am and there will be a flypast of aircraft based at RNAS Culdrose.