IT is hoped the Red Arrows will once again perform their breathtaking aerobatic displays over Lyme Regis next summer.
A formal application has been submitted to RAF Events this week for the Red Arrows to appear in Lyme Regis in summer 2020.
The town’s relationship with the Red Arrows dates back almost 50 years. They were first brought to the town by Philip Evans MBE as part of the Regatta & Carnival festivities in the early 1970s, and then went on to appear free of charge for four decades as the main attraction for Lifeboat Week.
But when Ministry of Defence rules changed and a charge was made for a visit by the Red Arrows – in the region of £13,000 – Lifeboat Week organisers felt they could not commit charity funds to the cost of an appearance.
In a bid to maintain the long association between Lyme and the Red Arrows, Mr Evans founded the Lyme Regis Red Arrows 100 Club to raise the money, with generous financial support from Lyme Bay Holidays, and secured two further displays in 2016 and 2017.
However, the Arrows have been missed in Lyme’s calendar of summer events over the past two years. In 2018 they were unable to perform as the applied-for date clashed with their engineering day, and in 2019 the aerobatic team embarked on a tour of the USA instead taking part in UK displays.
It is now hoped they will make their return to Lyme Regis in 2020, with Mr Evans – now managing director of LymeOnline – having submitted the formal application.
If successful, the LymeOnline community newspaper and website will raise the funds to cover the cost of the display, through corporate sponsorship and the re-launch of the Red Arrows 100 Club.
It will not be known if the application has been successful until February 2020.