Birmingham's traditional Trafalgar Day parade cancelled

Birmingham’s traditional Trafalgar Day parade cancelled

The traditional Trafalgar Day parade and commemoration at Birmingham’s famous Lord Nelson statue is not taking place this year.

The event has taken place in the city since the monument to the Admiral, the first in the world, was put up in 1809 to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, four years earlier.

The parade usually takes place on the Sunday closest to the battle’s anniversary, October 21 at Nelson’s statue in the Bullring.

It has traditionally been attended by the Birmingham Sea Cadets groups and HMS Forward as well as other armed forces veterans.

But this year the volunteer who organised the event for the last 13 years has stepped down. No one else has come forward and so nothing has been arranged.

In other parts of the country events are staged by the Sea Cadets or Royal Navy groups.



A previous Trafalgar Day memorial in the Bullring.

Instead, Birmingham’s three sea cadets groups, Vernon based at Edgbaston Reservoir, Sherbourne based in Kings Norton and Stirling based in Shard End, will hold their own events.

A Sea Cadet spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately, cadets from the Birmingham area will not be taking part in any parade locally for Trafalgar Day this year.

“However, each Sea Cadets unit in Mercia District – which includes three in Birmingham, as well as Dudley, Sandwell, Telford, Walsall and Wolverhampton – will commemorate the event individually at their respective units.”

In common with many other community events, the city council stopped a £2,000 grant for the parade in 2015.

Last year the parade was almost cancelled after heightened terror concerns surrounding the public gathering of navy representatives and cadets led to a £2,000 security bill.

It only went ahead after the city council staff stepped in at the 11th hour, following a Birmingham Mail appeal.

Former Lord Mayor John Lines said that the council should never have withdrawn the funding in the first place. He said: “It’s a betrayal of the memory of our historic survival as a nation. Birmingham has always been at the forefront of that. This is a very sad time when we neglect our heritage and proud history.”



The Lord Nelson statue.

Birmingham City Council withdrew its funding for Trafalgar Day in 2015.

Because of budget cuts, the cash-strapped council has in recent years withdrawn financial subsidies from festivals and public events, including the St Patrick’s Day, Pride and St George’s Day parades, Birmingham Mela and the city’s Christmas Lights.

In many cases, the council has continued to provide advice or staff support, and the other high-profile events have survived through private fund raising and sponsorship.

Latest Tweets