Thursday, 15 July 2010

'Now' Red Arrows are (not) banned by health and safety

On 13 July, Angry Mob highlighted the latest thing 'banned' by health and safety: the Red Arrows.

The Mail reported, under a headline which began with the word 'now...':

The Red Arrows have been banned from putting on a flying display over a seaside town – over health and safety fears.

The world famous RAF team were scheduled to top the bill at the annual regatta in Dartmouth, Devon.

But organisers decided to cancel the display – which has taken place every year since 1980 – amid fears that vibrations from the low-flying jets might damage buildings.

The story went on to reveal the thoughts of angry locals who said it was:

'just health and safety nonsense'.

In fact, it was just nonsense. Why?

Because one day after the Mail's story, the Red Arrows issued a press release with the headline 'Spurious show story':

There have been reports in the national news today that the Red Arrows will not be displaying at Dartmouth.

This is not true and the Team is still planning to display at the Town’s Royal Regatta event.

Squadron Leader Ben Murphy, Officer Commanding and Team Leader of the Red Arrows said:

“We are still planning to display at Dartmouth on August 27. We have not been contacted by the event organisers with any concerns about damage to buildings. In fact the Mayor of Dartmouth contacted the Team this morning to say that the town is still very much looking forward to the display and that reports in the national press about the town cancelling are simply not true.”

(Hat-tip IC Oliver)


  1. Things may have changed since of course, but I did find this:

    Quite interesting, considering Jim Brent is the prominant guy interviewed in this article.

    Loving the DM comments. "It's Elf & Safety gone bloody mad it is". Waiting for the Littlejohn article now.

  2. The thing is, even if the story was true, and it was cancelled as the story describes then that would sound to me like a perfectly reasonable thing to do anyway. The papers would be the first to jump on the council if buildings fell down on the 100000 people, especially when they knew they'd been weakened.

  3. Yipee!. I have just submitted the Red Arrow's press statement onto the comments section of the article and it's been accepted. Please get on there with your green arrows (no pun intended)

  4. It reminds me of the 'PC gone mad' story from a few years back, reported in several papers, that the Red Arrows wouldn't be allowed to fly during the London 2012 opening ceremony.

    Despite the fact that it was far too early for their bookings and no-one had even started thinking about the ceremony at that stage.

  5. Ha! You couldn't make it up. Victory for common sense over 'elf 'n' safety fears!

    What a pathetic bunch they are really. It's the Yes Minister 'emulsified offal tube' story all over again.

  6. I am doing well. I managed to get a comment published on the follow-up story pointing out that the only "ban" was in the head of their so-called reporter.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Comments are moderated - generally to filter out spam and comments wishing death on people - but other messages will be approved as quickly as possible.