First day of a few days off and I took my son and father in law to the rearranged teeside airshow. A good all rounder of an airshow, having been to Leuchars, scone, Sunderland, Dawlish and the royal air tattoo airshows in the last 6 years.
On the positives, not far from a main road a66 and no queues from miles out. It was small enough on a large site not to affect the traffic, and that no rail, bus or park n ride isn’t ultimately the airshows fault.
It had the highlights of other airshows , red arrows, typhoons, battle of Britain, blades. Some stuff on the ground, a fun fair, the stalls, good mix of burger vans and a classic car display.
The rain stayed off. The clouds parted and as we gazed into the sky we got sunburnt.
However it was a day off from work, a day off from studies (after getting a positive grade for my first written piece yesterday ) so it was good to have a day off knowing that I’m hitting the right kind of level.
Going back to the airshow atmosphere, as I walked around it felt as though everyone paid to go to an airshow but that groups of people made different uses of it. For some it gave them chance to show off their classic car, others ran stalls to sell items, promote business or charities. There were red arrows fans who left after they’d done their display. Families who had a great time on the fair ground and the planes acted as the back drop or background noise. An expensive day at a fairground. Maybe it was a bit of everything and not quite enough of the main thing. Not enough of an airshow for the aeroplane enthusiasts (and I’m not really one) but enough of other things to keep people entertained for a day out.
So 10,000+ people in teeside paid good money to see some of the giants of military warfare and acrobatics. Gods of metal, construction, of design and aerodynamics were worshipped, photographed and gazed at. There is no audience involvement, just a celebrity plane to photograph. Memories to frame in time.
The purists of the airshow world might hate the commercialism of the day, but these are essential for sustainability, and provide variety for the general public.
Soon the classic planes will be no more. There’s less and less every time, they’re too expensive to maintain. The wars they fought in will always be remembered.
Maybe there’s a few parallels to the churches of today and the airshows? Maybe there’s things to learn but also practices to reject. What are the sideshows for the gospel? How will the story be remembered if it’s watched and not performed?