The Red Arrows are coming to Herne Bay
The Red Arrows display team will take to the skies over Herne Bay this summer, it has been confirmed.
The Amy Johnson Memorial Airshow on August 15 will include the 10-strong Great War Display Team, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Lancaster Bomber, Spitfire, Hurrican, De Havilland Vampire and a flypast by Tracey Curtis-Taylor.
The team launched an appeal to raise money to pay for the Red Arrows’ appearance but faced a nail-biting wait to see if their application – one of hundreds received by the RAF each year – would be approved.
Confirmation was received from RAF bosses yesterday (March 11).
Gerald McCarthy from the Herne Bay Promo team said: “We’re absolutely delighted that we’ve managed to secure the Red Arrows for the town.
“The display team receive up to 800 applications each year from all over the UK and Europe, so to have them display along the Herne Bay coast this summer will be an historic first for the town.
“We felt the addition of Jane Priston to the air display organising team, with her Amy Johnson project links, helped get the attention of RAF officials when deciding on display locations in 2015.”
The event will commemorate record-breaking pilot Amy Johnson, whose plane crashed off the coast of Herne Bay in 1941.
Mrs Priston has spent seven years researching Miss Johnson’s story and hopes it will inspire others to follow their dreams.
Businesses and individuals from the town rallied round to raise almost £13,000 for the Red Arrows display, while proceeds from the Bay Promo Team’s Sci-fi and music events will help fund other parts of the day. There is still time to get involved and sponsor the event.
Mr McCarthy said: “It’s fitting that Amy Johnson will get such a big event staged in her memory. With Folkestone being unable to stage an airshow this year, eyes will be on Herne Bay skies as Herne Bay stages Kent’s primary coastal air event, a great advertisement for the town.
“A big thanks to all of the businesses and people from the community that helped make the application possible.
“I’ve said before we have an enviable community spirit, and the town has demonstrated this once again.
Attractions on the ground are planned as well, including flight simulators, static aircraft displays and other entertainment.
And Mr McCarthy urged people to leave their cars at home for the day to avoid missing out.
He added: “Our aim has always been to promote the town, and what a fantastic opportunity this day will bring for people that have never visited Herne Bay before. It’s a great investment in future tourism here.
“It’s by far the pinnacle of what a few friends passionate about Herne Bay have been able to do for the town, and I’m not sure we’ll be able to surpass this.”