Military veterans’ group looking to recruit ex-forces personnel from across Central Lancashire

Military veterans across Central Lancashire now have a new body to support them on Civvy Street.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 4:35 pm

And former Scots Guards Warrant Officer Michael Nutter will be the man telling them to "get fell in" as the ex-services organisation looks to grow its membership across the area.

The Central Lancashire Armed Forces Veterans' Association has replaced the Preston and District Veterans' Council in a move to create a new group to represent ex-military personnel in the heart of the county.

"We just want to be there for all veterans and give them something to be part of," said newly-appointed chairman Michael who left the Army seven years ago and is also Preston's Parades Marshal.

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Preston Parades Marshal Michael Nutter is chairman of the newly-named association.

"A lot of regimental associations are getting a bit thin on the ground now and we want this to be a home for anyone who maybe hasn't got a group to be part of anymore.

"Being elected chairman of the new association as it launches is fantastic and a great honour for me. We have a great team around us and we are looking to the future in a positive way."

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Preston-based Colonel David Waters will remain president of the newly-named association.

Col David Waters remains president of the association.

Michael has been working with Col Waters and others on a project to find a headquarters in the city for veterans from all across Lancashire.

"It's gathering momentum," revealed Michael, who spent 24 years serving Queen and country and now works in education. "It's a work in progress.

"A veterans’ centre is crucial to give ex-service personnel the assurance that there is something and someone there for them.

“It would give people confidence to know that they haven’t been forgotten."

Michael Nutter says the new association will welcome all ex-servicemen and women in the county.

One building being looked at is the Museum of Lancashire in Stanley Street, next door to Preston Prison. Another is the former police station in Earl Street across from the city's market.

Veterans are hoping a new centre could one day house the county’s Infantry Museum which currently operates from Fulwood Barracks.

“I’m 100 per cent behind the idea. It would be good for veterans to know they have got somewhere to go," said Michael.

"Colonel Waters is meeting with people frequently and there seems to be a lot of interest.

“It would be a drop-in centre where people could talk about mental health issues and just help each other out. But it needs to be accessible and that’s why its important we get the right location for as many veterans as possible.

"It would be a contact place for during the day or at weekends where there would always be a warm welcome and an understanding ear.

“At the moment it’s like we’ve got the soldiers, but we haven’t got the barracks.”

Michael says the newly-named organisation is keen to "entice" veterans to join up and take advantage of events being planned across Central Lancashire.

"If anyone finds themselves in a place where they don't have a (veterans) home we would love them to make contact with us - everyone is welcome. We want to be a focal point for ex-servicemen and women."