LYME Regis is gearing up for a “red hot” summer of top attractions with the news that the Red Arrows will be appearing during Regatta and Carnival Week and the Lifeboat Week committee have secured a visit from the Red Devils parachute team.
The Red Arrows have confirmed they will be returning to Lyme Regis for a display at 6.15pm on Thursday, August 10th. The RAF’s crack aerobatic team will once again wow the crowds with one of their spectacular displays, which annually attracts tens of thousands to the town.
This year’s display will fall during Lyme Regis Regatta & Carnival Week, which runs from August 5th to 13th. Red Arrows display organiser, Philip Evans, applied for the Arrows to come a week earlier, so it did not clash with any other events in the town, but the team were unable to appear on this date.
Mr Evans has me with the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Owen Lovell, and town clerk John Wright to discuss plans for this year’s display, and the Regatta & Carnival Committee have announced that their firework display will follow the Red Arrows at 10pm that evening.
Last year it was feared that the Red Arrows’ 40-year-plus relationship with Lyme Regis would come to an end. The aerobatic team traditionally appeared during Lifeboat Week, but after they were forced to charge for all displays, the RNLI Guild felt they could not afford the expense.
Instead, a fundraising campaign was launched by the View From Lyme Regis and a display from the Arrows was secured, with the town council organising Lyme Regis Community Week around the big day.
This year, the fee for the Red Arrows and insurance means that another £12,000 will have to be raised, but a significant amount has already been guaranteed by sponsors and members of the Red Arrows 100 Club, formed last year to ensure the Arrows continued their lengthy relationship with the town.
Membership places for the club – in which 100 members are asked to pay £100 each towards the display – are still available and those interested in joining or supporting the display in any other way should contact Mr Evans on 01297 446155. This year’s benefits for club members will be announced shortly.
This year, however, organisers of Lifeboat Week have secured a display from the Red Devils – the British Army’s official parachute display team.
The week of events starts on July 22nd and the Red Devils will be performing during the afternoon of Tuesday, July 25th. The time will be confirmed later.
The Red Devils, based at Netheravon Airfield on Salisbury Plain, are a team of 15, all of whom have seen active service in the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan or Iraq. They are widely acknowledged as among the best display parachutists in the world, and every year carry out spectacular shows at public events worldwide promoting the British Army and the Parachute Regiment, known as ‘The Paras’.
A classic Red Devils display will see up to ten team members jumping from an altitude of 10,000ft. Trailing smoke to demonstrate their speed and movement, the highly skilled skydivers will freefall at speeds up to 120mph before opening their parachutes. Then they will demonstrate breathtaking high-speed ‘swoop’ landings and spectacular ‘canopy formations’, both unique to parachute displays in the UK.
A commentary will keep everyone informed throughout the event, and the skydivers will be available afterwards to meet spectators.
Irene Roper, chairman of the organisers of Lifeboat Week, the Lyme Regis and Charmouth RNLI Guild, said:”We are absolutely delighted that the Red Devils are coming to support our charity. They will be a big attraction in the middle of our fund-raising week.”
Plans for other events during the week are well under way. The fireworks display is scheduled for Friday, July 28th at 10pm and the popular Three Counties Swing Band will perform the same evening. Another band back by popular demand, Bad Dog No Biscuit, will be on stage on July 23rd at 7pm. A new event will be a water polo match between the RNLI lifeguards and the lifeboat crew at 7.30pm on July 25th. The popular bathtub race is scheduled for 8pm on July 22nd.
For regular updates on this year’s Red Arrows display, visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/redarrowslyme or follow @LymeRedArrows on Twitter, or for more news on Lifeboat Week, visit www.facebook.com/LymeRegisLifeboatWeek