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Air show is for visitors

PUBLISHED: 12:02 31 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 July 2010

THERE are some fundamental issues the three voluntary directors of the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival seem to have missed. The critical one is the aim of the air show.

THERE are some fundamental issues the three voluntary directors of the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival seem to have missed. The critical one is the aim of the air show.

Local people and businesses each year are targeted as those who are responsible for possibly scrapping the air show for the next year.

Maybe I have missed the point but the event seems primarily designed for visitors to the town. After a little research it seems certain that the organisers deliberately tailor the event to non residents. For the first time in a few years I spent the Thursday at the event paying my £2 - a feeble amount compared with what is charged at air shows at other locations. The demographics of the crowds were very interesting.

South of the Claremont Pier the trend was towards retired people and groups of younger children with a number of mums. The upper esplanade was lined with older people, mainly 50 plus who came prepared for the day with chairs, ice boxes and newspapers. Beach hut land was the usual groups and the beach area mainly taken by younger people - school age teens and post-16 students.

North of the Claremont, things were very different. Far less older people, larger groups of over 16s and a very different atmosphere. As you travel towards the fairground the people and standard of behaviour changed for the worse. By the time you reached the fairground there seemed little interest in the air displays.

The Journal told people that the event would be in trouble if people don't dig deep. In these economic times our local industry and business sees little point investing in the air festival - and can you blame them. Most local people do not go to the air show because they are at work. The vast proportion of people would be pleased if the air show got scrapped. We'd be able to at least drive north to south in less than an hour and then find places to park.

If the business plan depends so much on local people then make it an event for local people. Stick it in Nicholas Everett Park, in Oulton Broad, and charge proper admission prices, or at Beccles on the old airfield site.

PAUL JOHNSON

High Beech

Lowestoft

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