Village airshow under threat

Bob Barton with one of the aircraft at a previous fair

Bob Barton with one of the aircraft at a previous fair - Credit: Archant

THE future of an airshow which draws in the crowds at a village summer fair is up in the air.

The show, which forms part of Pirton summer fair, is under threat this year because the event committee says it cannot fund it.

It has been a part of the event for the last 10 years, and display organiser Bob Barton believes its cancellation could have an impact on the number of people coming along.

Mr Barton said: “It brings in a lot of people from outside the village and footfall will be far lower without it.

“Lots of people have said if they cancel the display, they won’t be going any more.”

The fair, which usually attracts around 1,000 people throughout the day, is due to be held on July 13 at Pirton Sports and Social Club and its grounds.

A petition collecting signatures from those who don’t want the display cancelled is being supported by The Fox, The Motte and Bailey and the village shop.

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Mr Barton, whose connections with the aviation industry have brought in helicopters, Spitfires and Hurricanes in the past, had already booked this year’s display line-up before learning it was under threat.

The High Street resident, who no longer sits on the committee, said: “I was given a budget last year and it was all fine. Later, I asked for a meeting, and it was then I was told they had decided to cancel the airshow,” he said. “This is wrong. I had my budget, I had booked the acts. It was all fully organised.”

A committee meeting was held on Tuesday night about the airshow’s future, attended by Mr Barton.

He added: “It was a very fair, open and pleasant meeting. There was no big decision, instead the committee has gone away to have a rethink but they could still decide to cancel it.”

No date has been set for a decision on the airshow.