The RIAT is coming to town this weekend. The bollards and signs have been out for about 3 weeks preparing for the influx of plane enthusiasts and their families. Our sleepy little hollow will come alive to the roar of military jets, the drone of stationary traffic and the happy gabbling of plane spotters and late night drinkers. We have our residents passes to help prevent police and stewards shuttling us into a car park when we really just want to go home and I’m sure The George has stocked up for the event.
I’m not a plane fan myself but it is fun to see the village come alive for a weekend and become the centre of attention. I quite like the festival buzz of it all. It’s about now we start to see practice routines above the garden, if the cloud would lift, and we get our own private RIAT show before the real one begins.
I can’t get excited about the stats of each jet, though. There is something sinister about the increased speed and capability of each advancement in military jettage, and those who are big fans of such, might poo-poo my squeamishness. This or that jet will be described as reaching a dizzying height and G-force stretching speed, carrying a payload of “X” missiles. The line missing, of course, is how many people can be killed by each missile. Depressing.
Anyway, I confess to being awed by their speed and airborne acrobatics. I can accept that that is something to be admired. And I shall watch from the vantage point of the garden. Last year’s top acrobatic dancer was The Raptor. Here it is in 2010.
So, here’s a note to anyone coming along. If you are coming, I hope you have a great time and patronise the local pubs and traders. The George and The Spotted Cow (in Marston Meysey) are both to be recommended and not forgetting The Jolly Tar in Hannington and the Red Lion at Castle Eaton, depending upon which route you are taking. BUT …..if you are coming to line the roadway and cycle path, and here is a serious plea, PLEASE PLEASE take your litter home. Don’t throw it on the grass verge or in the gulleys. You might think that someone comes along after the RIAT and clears up. Unfortunately not. The legacy of your fun will be with us for some weeks before the council receives enough complaining letters and calls and gets a truck out. Think Cameron’s Big Society – think anything – but don’t think that someone else will deal with it.
Have fun, enjoy it despite the weather, and please clear up as you go.