by Sam Hawcroft
This summer’s inaugural Blue Light Weekend will incorporate Withernsea’s biggest-ever air show, the organisers have confirmed.
The event, across the weekend of August 12-13, will not only be a celebration of the emergency services on land and sea – it will also feature flypasts by historic war planes, displays by two of the country’s leading stunt pilots, as well as a freefall parachute and rescue demonstration.
Since the countdown to the Blue Light Weekend officially began in February, organisers have been working hard behind the scenes on a line-up packed with attractions and activities for all the family.
The air show will form a key part of the programme on the Sunday, starting with Nick Lee’s Tiger Moth display at 1pm.
Nick, a passionate aviation history enthusiast and instructor, will guide his vintage aircraft above the crowds on Withernsea’s promenade.
He will be followed by stunt pilot Tom Cassells, who will keep the audience captivated by his breathtaking manoeuvres in a two-seater aerobatic Extra Flugzeugbau EA300.
A coordinated “jump and rescue” display will then see expert freefall parachutists leap from a helicopter over the sea before a professional rescue team moves swiftly into action.
The afternoon’s aerial attractions will culminate in a flypast by two of Britain’s most iconic Second World War planes, the Spitfire and the Hurricane, as part of the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
The Blue Light Weekend was originally the idea of Withernsea RNLI’s operations manager Steve Medcalf, who died last December. This year’s event, which is dedicated to his memory, is centred on the town’s promenade and will also feature sea swimming races, a raft race, and a run/swim duathlon, in association with local events company Blip Active.
Also in attendance will be representatives from the RNLI, Hornsea Inshore Rescue, the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Team, the UK Border Force, community police officers, fire brigade emergency vehicles and many more.
Organising committee member Andy Medcalf said: “We are really excited at the level of support received from the whole community to help bring together a fantastic annual event and, really, as Steve wanted, ‘put Withernsea on the map’.
“We hope to be announcing more exciting events soon, so look out for news on these in the Gazette and on our website.”
A number of headline sponsors have also come on board in recent weeks, including PJD Electrical, Blip Active, the Gazette, Medcalf Builders, Game King, MKM Building Supplies, Holderness Hardware, Richardson Electrical and Mechanical Services, Visit East Yorkshire, Golden Sands Holiday Park and Thomson Electrical.
The event organisers are still looking for volunteers to help out in a variety of roles on the day, as well as more stallholders to join those local businesses and organisations who have already signed up to showcase their offerings across the weekend.
For more information and up to date event listings, visit www.bluelightwithernsea.com.