NOSTALGIA: Looking back to 1984 Eastbourne airshow

1984 airshow at Eastbourne
1984 airshow at Eastbourne

With the dust now settling on the 25th Eastbourne Airbourne I have been given access to some archive information for the Eastbourne Air Show that preceded Airbourne, writes Phil Gardner.

In the late 1970s Eastbourne’s branch of the Royal Air Force Association was one of the most active in the country and was regularly one of the best performing when it came to the annual Wings Appeal.

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It was after one such successful appeal, when the local group raised over £36,000, that local RAFA stalwart, Jimmy Crofts MBE, spoke to the “powers that be” about having a visit by the Red Arrows to say thank you for the effort made by Eastbourne.

The reply was yes and from that sprang Eastbourne’s Air Week which soon after became the Royal Air Force Town Show. Ultimately this became Airbourne.

Images from the programme for the 1984 show are pictured.

The programme was produced by Jimmy Crofts himself and appear courtesy of his wife Teresa.

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Jimmy and Teresa Crofts are on the left in one of the photographs and on the right are Derek Baulcomb and Mary Sherwin.

Derek used to paint an aircraft picture every year and this would be auctioned on behalf of the RAFA.

The aircraft in the picture appears to be a Harrier Jump Jet which used to entertain the crowds in Eastbourne with some amazing flying displays.

In the early days of the show the camper van pictured was the operational base.

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