THE Red Arrows will not be appearing in Lyme Regis this summer.
Notification from RAF events that an application for their crack aerobatic team to appear in Lyme in July has been met with disappointment.
The decision is not related to the coronavirus epidemic; Lyme Regis was simply not chosen for the 2020 programme.
The Red Arrows, in ever-increasing demand especially after last summer’s tour of duty in the United States, gave breath-taking displays over Lyme Bay for more than 40 years, first visiting the town as part of the Regatta & Carnival programme the early 1970s.
They then appeared as part of Lifeboat Week free of charge until 2015 when weather permitted. In 2016, however, a charge was introduced by the Ministry of Defence and the organisers of Lifeboat Week said they could not justify charitable funds having to shell out several thousands of pounds.
Former mayor and local journalist Philip Evans MBE, who first brought the Arrows to Lyme when he was secretary of the Regatta & Carnival Committee, launched an appeal to raise the funds by the formation of a Red Arrows 100 Club, with support from local businesses, to secure the 2016 visit.
The Arrows visited the town again in 2017 but applications for further displays in 2018, 2019 and now 2020 were rejected.
Mr Evans commented: “It’s disappointing that we won’t see the Red Arrows over Lyme again this year, especially as it is likely to be a very difficult summer for our traders.
“We have told that this does not mean we won’t get them again, but I think it is very unlikely that we will. But we will keep applying.
“The demand for the Red Arrows has never been stronger and it’s only to be expected that other resorts get the chance to see them.
“We were lucky to have got them for so long.”