Air We Go - Show is back and it could get better and better

By John Quirk

After a gap of a decade, an air spectacular returns to the skies above Jurby this week-end and promises two days of fun for all the family.

Organisers hope large crowds will flock to the airfield to see two air races and a host of displays from the likes of the Red Arrows and the RAF Falcons Parachute Team, not to mention the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

The Manx Air Derby on the Saturday will be started by King Harald V of Norway, as part of a three-day visit to the Island with his Queen, Sonja, for the Tynwald Day ceremony.

They’ll be accompanied to the show by Lieutenant Governor Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen, who will no doubt be a keen onlooker.

Steve Bridson, who’s one of the organising team, said "Thirty aircraft are expected to compete for the derby, completing six laps of a 19 mile circuit around the north of the Island."

"If the handicap officials have done their job well, a large proportion of the field will cross the finishing line at Jurby in close proximity – and at maximum speed!"

"If possible, pleasure flights around the area will operate during periods when air race or display aircraft are not active. In addition, a competition will be held to guess the height of a Tiger Moth, the prize for which will be a flight in the aircraft."

A ground display will also be open to the public, with stalls, food outlets, go-karting organised by Duke Marketing, a dads’ tug of war competition and a bouncy castle for children.

Steve added: "The afternoon event will conclude with the closing ceremony and prize-giving, although the time of this has yet to be finalised."

Sunday sees the aircraft compete for the prestigious Schneider Trophy.

Steve explained: "The Schneider Trophy began in the 1920s and was a competition for sea-planes off the Solent."

"It has progressed in various forms and it is much the name as anything – it is the principal air racing trophy in the UK."

It will be followed by more aerobatics displays and there will also be a car boot sale on the Sunday, with a charge of £10 per car for those wanting to sell goods.

Throughout the week-end, when other flying isn’t taking place, the Andreas Gliding Club and pwered flight flying clubs will offer trial lessons to aspiring pilots.

Steve says the response from the Island community to the return of a Jurby air show has been fantastic.

Hee said: "The response has been great. Everyone we have spoken to has said how good it is for the show to be back."

"They reminisce about how great they used to be and if we can build on that it will be great."

There have been one of two problems to overcome. Steve explained that with military aircraft deployed to more countries nowadays, it’s more difficult to secure their participation."

He added: "Many of those who used to be in the Ministry of Defence have retired or moved on so the old links the organisers used to have are not there now."

"So it’s been a case of re-establishing links with this establishment to get them to come back."

The main sponsors for the are Camelot, the Alliance and Leicester and the Strand Shopping Centre.

Steve explained: "No one is making a penny out of this. We have all invested a lot of time and we are putting this on for reasons."

"We all have a keen interest in aviation and want to see it happen. But it will also be a fantastic spectacle for the Isle of Man."

"All the entrance fees are going towards paying for the likes of the Red Arrows to come over."

"If the event is a success this year, then we will be looking to put on a bigger and better show next year and that is something that the people of the Island can look forward to every year."

The above newspaper article appeared in the Isle of Man Examiner, 2nd July, 2002.