Out in the Field with chief reporter Annemarie Field: When will the penny drop at Airbourne?

IF THERE’S one quality in people I can’t abide it’s tight-fistedness.

We’ve all met them – the type you have to turn upside down and shake them until the coins drop out of their pockets when it’s their round at the bar.

I met plenty of them last weekend at Airbourne, that spectacular FREE event Eastbourne hosts every year, when I went out collecting for the lifeboat and for the future of the airshow.

It costs money to get the fantastic air displays in the skies and the Red Arrows certainly ain’t cheap.

So all donations are gratefully received with 30 per cent going to the RNLI and the rest to making sure the show goes on year after year.

But trying to get a donation out of the majority of the people crammed together on the beaches, promenades, Wish Tower slopes and Western Lawns all watching it for FREE, was like trying to get blood out of a stone.

Either they couldn’t hear me as I rattled my bucket (they certainly couldn’t miss me in my bright red t-shirt and pink tutu) calling out for donations or they genuinely felt it was fair enough to sit on their backsides watching the flying displays, fireworks etc without even throwing a few coins in a bucket.

I came across a group picnicking with champagne and an M&S hamper.

Just one of their number put a handful of coppers in the bucket.

I felt like telling him that he obviously needed it more than the charity did and to poke his grand total of 16 pence where the Red Arrows don’t go.

On the other end of the scale I had little kids emptying their pockets and old ladies shoving notes in, all thankful for such a wonderful show.

I thought this year was fantastic and huge thanks must go to Annie, Emma and all the council’s events team, the stewards, the lovely Martyn and Annette Perry, Richard behind the bar and the lovely Harry Rose.

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IT’S WEEK four of the long summer holidays and I am now beginning to understand why some animals eat their young.

Every day the endless cries of ‘where are we going/ what are we doing today?’ ring in my ears.

Next week I am taking the week off to spend with the Ginger Prince and the Little Princess so am hoping for plenty of sunshine and preferably a sizeable lottery win to get to all the places they have planned.

See you in two weeks...