80,000 chatsworth turnout as red arrows make emotional return

The Red Arrows carry out their first public display since the terrible loss of one of their pilots. Flying an eight man formation the team wowed the crowds at Chatsworth.

The Red Arrows carry out their first public display since the terrible loss of one of their pilots. Flying an eight man formation the team wowed the crowds at Chatsworth.

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ORGANISERS OF Chatsworth Country Fair were reflecting this week on a “vintage year”.

More than 80,000 visitors were recorded over the three days - and the total does not include under 14s, who were admitted free.

The Household Cavalry thrilled the crowd with some amazing horsemanship

The Household Cavalry thrilled the crowd with some amazing horsemanship

One of the highlights was a display by eight Red Arrows pilots who made their first public performance since the death of Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, aged 33, at the Bournemouth Air Festival last month.

Squadron Leader Graeme Bagnall said it was a “chance to honour him and pay our respects to him with our flying. We think he would have liked us to have gone on to do that, that’s why it’s so important for us to keep going.”

The display was dedicated to to Flt Lt Egging’s widow, Emma.

Sqn Ldr Bagnall said it was important for morale to get back to flying, despite their sadness. “It’s been important to move quickly and of course there’s no place more miserable than a Red Arrows crew when there’s no flying going on.”

The show was celebrating its 30th anniversary at the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.

Organiser Christopher Lloyd Owen said: “It was a marvellous event with lots of smiling faces. The return of the Red Arrows was an obvious and emotional highlight and the Household Cavalry were also a big hit with the crowd.

“I think people simply enjoyed the variety of exhibits, stalls and displays in the lovely weather. All in all, I’d describe it as a vintage year.”