Load Of Old Bull – Or Great Day Out?


An interesting one today, folks – upon which I’d value your opinions…

A couple of weekends ago, we saw the second visit of the Red Bull Air Race. I confess I was quite surprised to see it a second year running – but hey – I ran with it. After all, I’d gone the first year and quite enjoyed it. This year I didn’t manage to get free tickets and I hadn’t loved it enough the first time round to fork out another twenty-odd quid to stand all afternoon.

Dazza did go though – he managed to get some freebies – and he’s sent me some fab pics which illustrate this post.

But given that I wasn’t actually at the event this year, I began to understand just how bloomin’ noisy it is – not just the race days, but during the week leading up to the event.
The Thames Path was closed to – well everyone who hadn’t paid, actually, leading to us being effectively locked out of our own facilities – especially, I understand, the wildlife centre at the Ecology Park.

That weekend I was doing some reasonably complicated exterior work with my neighbours and there were times when we couldn’t hear each other shouting instructions to each other as planes roared over our heads.

Personally, I let it go. It’s one weekend a year and I did enjoy it well enough last year. But Catherine has voiced some concerns – and it’s not the first time I’ve heard them. She says

“I found it a noisy invasive pain in the proverbial, on one of the sunniest weeks, when I could finally sit out in my excuse for a garden.”

She asks the rhetorical question “Were any Greenwich residents consulted on whether they agreed to this every year?”
And she does have a point. I had assumed it was a one-off last year and I embraced it – but do we want a whole weekend of aerial petrolheads every year?
Catherine brings up another point – “Did anyone else found event to be more like a throwback to pre-carbon awareness 20th Century events, than something Greenwich Council of Sustainable Tourism should actually be promoting – if it really knew what sustainable tourism meant…”

I just don’t know, myself. I’d like to think that Greenwich Council was making lots of money out of this – and if it’s not, then it needs to start making a noise. I’d like to think that we would be asked if we wanted our path closed every single year – I sincerely doubt anyone was asked.

On the other hand, despite my guilt about all that carbon, I did enjoy it last year. And Dazza’s pics are great.

Let’s have a poll. What do you think – has the Red Bull Air Race outstayed its welcome or should we embrace its fumey fun with open arms?
Vote here, guys…

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