GALLERY: Weston Air Festival and Armed Forces Day

PUBLISHED: 14:44 24 June 2015 | UPDATED: 14:44 24 June 2015

Red Arrows.

Red Arrows.


WESTON'S Air Festival and Armed Forces Day has been hailed as a success after an estimated 170,000 people filled the seafront on Saturday and Sunday.

crowds on Weston Sea front.crowds on Weston Sea front.

The total calculated by North Somerset Council’s seafront events team means the visitor total matches last year’s figures, when the festival was described by many as the town’s ‘best ever’ event.

Aerial exhibitions by the likes of the Red Arrows and the retiring Avro Vulcan proved highlights, while numerous activities on the ground kept spectators enthralled throughout the two days.

Seafront events manager Darren Fairchild said: “I was very pleased with how this year’s event went.

“I think as much as anything, it is seeing so many people enjoying themselves.

“People had a good time and went home happy.”

Mr Fairchild said last year, due to the very hot weather, most people spent their time on the beach.

This time, more people visited the display area on the Beach Lawns, where there were military stalls and a climbing wall.

Mr Fairchild said: “We had people on the way out thanking us.

Major Jon Banfield of 243 Field Hospital talking shop with St John Ambulance personel Charlie Cook, Hannah Godfrey and William Bunce.Major Jon Banfield of 243 Field Hospital talking shop with St John Ambulance personel Charlie Cook, Hannah Godfrey and William Bunce.

“It is one of the only events we run ourselves. Most of the time, we are working with other people.

“We could tell from the people walking back to their houses that this event brings in just as many locals as visitors.

“There is no-one it doesn’t appeal to. I think that’s what makes it so special.”

Due to inclement weather, the Red Arrows were not able to take to Weston’s skies on Saturday.

But they returned on Sunday, to perform their spectacular show.

James Rogers, who runs Pirate Adventureland mini golf on the seafront, ran the funfair attractions during the event.

He said: “It was the best year ever for visitor numbers in the funfair for us.

“It was an improvement on last year.”

Felicity Baker, the council’s executive member for tourism, added: “The weekend was tremendous.

“We had to do some re-jigging on the flight programme on the Saturday because of some inclement weather conditions in other parts of the country, but nonetheless still provided spectacular displays.”

n For pictures, turn to pages 40 and 41 and visit

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