Over 20,000 people flocked to Rye on Saturday 11 June to see a display by the legendary Red Arrows, as well as enjoy a 40’s style knees up.
The RAF Aerobatic Team gave a 30 minute display over the town, which was their first full show of 2011 in the UK.
Jetting in from the Queen’s birthday celebrations, the ‘Reds’ performed some of their signature moves to the thrill the crowds in the packed streets below.
Families enjoyed a whole day out, as the ‘Reds Over Rye’ event also included a parade of World War Two military vehicles, 40’s music and dancing, people dressed in period costume, stalls and even a Captain Mainwaring look-a-like.
The 40’s theme was capped off by a display from the legendary Spitfire, piloted by Charlie Brown. The Spitfire, which was restored to flying condition by Rye-based Historic Aircraft Collection (HAC), also made an appearance in Bexhill on the same day.
The bumper free day out was organised by Roger Crouch, with Heritage Events, and received backing from Rother District Council, Rye Chamber of Commerce and 1066 Tourism and Marketing.
Roger said: “It was a great atmosphere at Strand Quay where there was a 40’s theme. The Cinque Ports Lindy Hoppers drew large crowds with every performance and the procession of the military vehicles led by the pipes and drums brought a lovely feeling of yesteryear which people of every age enjoyed.
“The Spitfire set the whole theme off and the anticipation of the Red Arrows’ arrival was quite remarkable. A wonderful day.”
Red Arrows Squadron Leader Graeme Bagnall, ‘Red 10’, said: “It was wonderful to be greeted by such beautiful weather in Rye, which permitted the first ‘full show’ of 2011 in the UK for the Red Arrows.
Red 6, Flight Lieutenant David Montenegro, commented to me afterwards about just how many people he could see lining the edge of the town. “Our presence in the RAF was secured in the past by our forefathers who fought valiantly in the skies over the south east of England in the summer of 1940. The significance of that endeavour is not lost on the pilots of today’s Red Arrows and it is therefore always a pleasure to be seen in the skies of East Sussex. We hope to return again sometime in the future.”