Flying stars arrowing in to honour veterans

The RAF Red Arrows
The RAF Red Arrows

THEY are the sleek and scarlet ambassadors for the Royal Air Force delighting crowds of admirers around Britain and Europe.

And now the Red Arrows - the very essence of breath-taking close formation flying - may be set to streak across the skies above Wigan.

The team – based at RAF Valley on Anglesey – should be honouring a services jamboree in Hindley on June 23 with a flypast, operational requirements and weather permitting.

The crane-your-necks coupe has come about after an approach from RAF Ex-Servicemen’s Association chairman and Arrows fan John Magee, who admits he has been hoping to have an invitation for the team to fly over Wigan to be given official approval in time.

Hindley Coun Jim Talbot, a founder member of Hindley Veterans, has spent the last year planning the event with the Friends of Leyland 

Both organisations are promising a feast of attractions, including historic World War Two exhibits and modern-day Armed Services displays.

It is hoped to see the biggest parade of Regimental and Legion Branch banners for many years.

And it will officially kick-off Veterans Week celebrations across the borough.

Coun Talbot said: “If the Red Arrows can make it – and we should have the full confirmation by the beginning of June – that will be absolutely fantastic for Hindley.

“Basically our event will help to kick off Armed Forces Week in the borough which will culminate with the big parade in Wigan town centre on June 29.

“We are planning to have military vehicles on display and having been in touch with quite a few people across the borough we are hoping for a good display of old and new, including despatch riders motorbikes from World War Two.”

The parade itself will start from the council’s PDC Centre on Park Road to Leyland Park where the saklutre will be taken by a what is hoped will be a visiting “high ranking” serving Officer.

Wigan’s army, air and sea cadets will also be fully involved with their own displays.