CROWDS were down at this year's armed forces day event in Malvern, after storms on Saturday afternoon dissuaded many for attending.

The event, in Victoria Park, Malvern Link, attracted more than 2,000 people last year, when it was staged for the first time.

But changeable weather this weekend meant that numbers were wel, down, to the disappointment of organisers.

Town councillor Ian Hopwood, one of the team behind the day, said: "The bad weather started as soon as the event did, with a thunderstorm overhead as the drumhead service was held at noon.

"And we had further downpours throughout the day, so a lot of people who might have come along will have decided to stay home. I had to go home twice to change my suit."

"It's a pity because all the attractions that we promised were there. I was worried about the two aerobatic displays in the afternoon, but they managed to perform in the gaps between the storms."

Among the participants were the Royal British Legion, the Western Front Association, and Malvern's Army,

Navy, and Sea Cadets. Malvern Hills Brass Band provided music, and attractions included field gun runs by the Navy Cadets, a lone piper, games for kids and face painting.

The event was held to express appreciation for the work and sacrifices of the armed forces and to raise money for the charity SSAFA, which supports service personnel in need, although it is not yet known how much money was raised.

Cllr Hopwood said: "We had about a dozen representatives from the Royal Irish Regiment , who we invited because of the sterling work they did during the floods last winter.

"We wanted to say thank-you, so the county council presented them with a paperweight with the Worcester Pear design, the district council presented them with a copy of the Turner painting of Malvern, and the town council with the shield of the town."