Weston celebrates triumphant air festival weekend

PUBLISHED: 20:34 22 June 2014 | UPDATED: 21:23 22 June 2014

The Red Arrows - photo by Jackie Downey.

The Red Arrows - photo by Jackie Downey.

(c) copyright citizenside.com

TENS of thousands of people flocked to Somerset this weekend to enjoy an action-packed Weston Air Festival heralded as a major triumph for the resort.

An RAF formation parachute team descend - picture by Douglas Stevens.An RAF formation parachute team descend - picture by Douglas Stevens.

The beach and seafront were packed throughout the weekend as crowds basked in glorious sunshine while enjoying the spectacular show.

Traditional favourites The Red Arrows proved a highlight for many with their breathtaking routine on Saturday, while Sunday’s appearance of the rumbling Vulcan was another key attraction.

Stunt planes, wing-walkers and parachutists wowed spectactors with their daredevil antics, while a host of fly-bys from rarely-seen military craft proved hugely popular.

There was plenty of family entertainment on the ground, too, as the Beach Lawns pulsed with activity throughout the two days.

Aircraft swooped low over the channel on their way into Weston - picture by Simon James.Aircraft swooped low over the channel on their way into Weston - picture by Simon James.

All this followed the event’s ceremonial curtain-raiser, which saw 500 Royal Marines from Taunton’s 40 Commando fill Princess Royal Square to receive a prestigious honour.

The troops were awarded the freedom of Weston in recognition of what mayor Roz Willis called their ‘distinguished service’ – an honour last bestowed back in 1969.

Many who attended the two-day festival have since been praising organisers for putting together such a successful event.

Dozens took to Facebook and Twitter to describe the event as ‘fantastic’ and ‘amazing’, with some saying they felt it had been one of Weston’s best ever event weekends.

Wing-walkers impress with their daredevil antics - picture by Douglas Stevens.Wing-walkers impress with their daredevil antics - picture by Douglas Stevens.

The only sour note came in the form of an accident on Sunday, which saw an 82-year-old woman taken to hospital after suffering serious injuries in a collision with a parachutist. An official investigation will follow.

The Mercury’s photo-sharing partner site weston.iwitness24.co.uk has already been inundated with some stunning pictures from across the weekend.

We’ve attached a couple to this story, but you can view more by logging onto the site.

Plus, of course, we’ll be featuring a selection of the best of the weekend’s pictures in this Thursday’s papers, too, so even if you missed out on the action you can still catch a glipse of what went on.

The formidable Vulcan provided an ear-splitting finale - phot by Simon James.The formidable Vulcan provided an ear-splitting finale - phot by Simon James.

* Did you enjoy the Weston Air Festival weekend? Let us know by commenting below, or email us via newsdesk@westonmercury.co.uk

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