Thousands flock to popular airshow
THOUSANDS of people ignored overcast skies to attend the first day of the Eye Show yesterday – climaxed by a stunning display by the RAF's Red Arrows - and organisers are expecting an even bigger crowd today.
By David Green
THOUSANDS of people ignored overcast skies to attend the first day of the Eye Show yesterday - climaxed by a stunning display by the RAF's Red Arrows - and organisers are expecting an even bigger crowd today.
However, the attendance for the two days is not expected to reach the 40,000 experienced in some recent years.
Heavy rainfall over the past few weeks meant that the large arable fields usually earmarked for car parking were unusable and a park and ride service was introduced.
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Motorists were directed to runways on the former Eye Airfield, more than a mile from the showground and ferried there and back by a fleet of 25 coaches.
A long queue of people waiting to return to their cars built up towards the end of the afternoon but show organisers said everyone had been very patient and the day had been a tremendous success.
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Only a few spots of rain fell during the whole day and the showground was still in good condition by evening.
"It was the worst week I have ever known in the build up to a show and I am delighted that it has worked out so well," said Tim Seeley, show director.
"Our team worked so hard this week to get the show on the road in very trying conditions.
"On Friday afternoon I was not at all sure that the show would go on but it has happened so we have done extremely well," he added.
This year's display by the Red Arrows was one of the best since the squadron first began visiting the show in the 1980s, the crowd being thrilled by the spectacle of the formation flying and high speed stunts.
The squadron has appeared at the show seven times in the past 10 years.
Parachutists of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment Spitfire Tigers freefall team touched down in the main ring after bailing out high over the showground in a fairly strong wind.
Other attractions included the Royal Artillery White helmets motorcycle display team, the Chariots of Fire equestrian team, a sheepdog demonstration, the Dingle Fingle comedy car and a demonstration of blindfold driving.
Todaythe stars of the show are expected to be the Utterly Butterly Wingwalkers.