THOUSANDS of people are expected to line the streets of Blandford later this month to say farewell to a beloved motorbike display team.

Members of Royal Signals team the White Helmets will ride through the town centre for one last time on the morning of Wednesday, September 27.

It will be their final public appearance.

The White Helmets was first formed 90 years ago, making it one of the oldest motorcycle display teams in the world.

Its 23 members ride classic 750cc Triumph Tiger machines at displays around the county. Riders wearing full dress uniform perform a range of stunts, including forming a motorcycle human pyramid, cycling backwards while juggling and bursting through a hoop of fire.

However, earlier this year, Ministry of Defence officials announced no more bookings will be taken for the internationally-acclaimed team when autumn arrives.

They are due to be replaced with a stunt display team to reflect the modern work carried out by the Royal Signals, it is claimed.

Blandford mayor Councillor Peter Clark said: "It will be an honour to have the White Helmets ride through the town and we all take pride that they were stationed here.

"For 90 years, the riders have demonstrated the finer qualities of the Royal Signals soldier, those of teamwork, confidence, commitment and courage. "They were qualities needed in 1920, as well as from the Royal Signals soldier of today."

The event, organised by the town council and Blandford Camp, will see Captain Jon McLelland lead riders into the Market Place at 11am. The riders will then greet members of the public and mayors from across Dorset.

The Land Girls will then perform before Capt McLelland seeks permission from Cllr Clark to depart Blandford for the final time.

Cllr Clark will grant permission and bid the team goodbye.

Pupils from Blandford schools will attend the event and White Helmets flags will be distributed to spectators.

Road closures will be in place during the day, with East Street, the Market Place, Sheepmarket Hill and the lower part of Church Lane affected.

Short closures will also be necessary at crossing points in the town centre as the parade passes by.

Visitors are encouraged to use the car parks at the Marsh & Ham, Eagle House and Langton Long.

The team will ride through the town centre between 10.45am and 11.15am. All are welcome to attend.