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BIGGIN HILL NEWS
NIGEL Farage landed at Heathrow airport on Sunday morning and drove straight to Biggin Hill to take part in a celebration event for war veterans.
The former UKIP leader raised a pint at the Back to the Beaches lunch at the Kings Arms public house in Leaves Green, organised by Sally O’Connor of the Spitfire Cafe in Main Road, Biggin Hill and Taxi Charity for Military Veterans.
The lunch was held to raise awareness of the charity’s June trip to Normandy, which will involve at least 120 veterans, including some from Bromley borough, plus carers. Up to 90 London black cab drivers will give up their time in June to provide transport services for the veterans who take part in the trip.
Dick Goodwin, events officer for Taxi Charity, said it will likely be the last major organised visit the group puts on.
On Sunday, more than 60 war veterans gathered at the Kings Arms to enjoy a lunch of beef stew and dumplings, as well as singing and “a bit of a knees up”.
“What an fantastic day,” said Sally. “In spite of the very cold weather the sun shone on our veterans. This is a fantastic charity in what they do for them by taking them out. I would also like to thank our customers who could not make it on Sunday but who donated £60.”
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World War Two veterans at a special fundraising event in Keston got a surprise visit from a famous face - Bromley’s very own Nigel Farage.
The former Ukip leader, who was born in Downe, stopped off at the Kings Arms in Leaves Green on Sunday to support efforts to send the war heroes back to the site of the D-Day landings one last time.
Never one to miss out on a pint, Mr Farage - who had just arrived at Heathrow Airport - popped by and chatted to the Chelsea Pensioners gathered at the pub.
The event had been organised by Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, which aims to raise enough money to take 250 veterans back to the Normandy beaches in 90 taxis in June this year.
The veterans who attended were served a lunch of beef stew and apple pie, with music from the 1940s providing the atmosphere.
Mr Farage, who is member of the European Parliament for south-east England, later tweeted: “Bumped into the The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans yesterday. Genuinely moved by the London taxi drivers helping veterans get back to the beaches.”
Taxi Charity’s Dick Goodwin said. “It was nice to see him. He is popular among the veterans. We had no idea he was coming - he came straight from Heathrow.
“The event was well attended. You just could not move in there.”
Sally O’Connor, who runs the Spitfire Cafe in Biggin Hill and helped to organise the event, said: “It was an amazing day. There were over 60 veterans from all over London, Kent and West Sussex.
“I just would like to say this is a fantastic charity in what they do for the veterans.”
Taxi Charity For Military Veterans
Do you know a veteran who would love to join us on our trip to Normandy in June 2017?
Our volunteer drivers will be escorting the veterans to France for a remembrance service at the Pegasus Bridge Museum, an opportunity to lay wreaths at the Ranville war cemetery and trips to Bayeux and the beach at Arromanches.