Counting the cost of the Blackpool weekend washout

The Great British weather can never be predicted and at the weekend it was felt across Blackpool when 45mph winds and torrential rain swept across the resort.

Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 9:55 am
Cameras at the ready on Blackpool Promenade for the air show.
Cameras at the ready on Blackpool Promenade for the air show.

The horrendous weather caused rafts of events to be cancelled at the last minute on what was meant to be one of the Fylde coasts busiest days of the year.

The annual Blackpool Air Show saw the weekend event cut down to a single day after the Saturday schedule was axed due to the yellow weather warnings for rain, wind and storms affecting the Fylde coast which were put in place by the MET office.

The wind speed forecasts were to blame for the cancellation of the event.

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A spokesman for Visit Blackpool, who run the annual event, said: “The safety of the pilots and the watching public is paramount.

“With wind speeds forecast at more than 45mph on Saturday afternoon there is no option other than to cancel that day’s programme.

Despite it going ahead on the Sunday, the show’s headline act was also cancelled due to ‘technical difficulties’.

The Breitling Jet Team, the largest civilian aerobatic display team in Europe, was supposed to fly over Blackpool Promenade on Sunday afternoon and had been called in to replace the famous Red Arrows, who performed at the show in previous years.

On the day, a Visit Blackpool spokesman said: “Sadly the Breitling Jets have had some technical difficulties on route and will no longer be appearing at today’s Blackpool Air Show.”

Despite the cancellation a council spokesman said no further cost was involved.

He said: “There is no additional cost. We run a two-day event because there is hardly any difference in cost between that and running a one-day event.

The St Annes kite festival was also cancelled for the weekend and has been rescheduled for next month.

Fylde councillor Cheryl Little, chairman of the tourism and leisure committee at Fylde Council, had said the kites are huge and they ‘just can’t afford a tragedy.’

She thanked organisers of Blackpool Vehicle Preservation Group after they swapped their scheduled event for the kite festival to go ahead.

She said: “I would like to thank Bill Swindlehurst and the Blackpool Vehicle Preservation Group who very kindly moved their event to Lytham Green so the kite festival could take place.”

Blackpool Pleasure Beach also called off their firework display in anticipation of the thunderstorms predicted to hit the coast.

A spokesman for the amusement park said: “Due to the forecasted extreme weather conditions, we regret to announce that it will not be possible for the planned fireworks display to take place.

“Blackpool Pleasure Beach will be open on Saturday and will operate on reduced hours to those advertised, with an amended earliest possible close of 6pm. We will endeavour to open as late as possible but this is dependent on weather conditions.

In response to the fireworks called off, the amusement park offered anyone who was due to visit the event on Saturday a free return for any day of the 2019 season.