Red Arrows and Russell-Coates in Bournemouth, Dorset

By Valery Collins | May 23, 2020

On the East Cliff above the famous Bournemouth beaches in Dorset stands a poignant memorial to a Red Arrows pilot who died when his Hawk T1 jet crashed after a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival.

Memorial to a Red Arrows Pilot in Bournemouth, Dorset

Red Arrows Memorial in Bournemouth, Dorset Credit: Valery Collins

The Bournemouth Air Festival is an annual event that takes place along the coast of Bournemouth in Dorset, England.  It started in 2008 and has become more popular every year.  This event features aircraft from the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and civil aviation displays.  A display by the Red Arrows was the main attraction during the event in 2011.  But it ended in tragedy when Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging lost control of his jet during the pre-landing manouvre.

The local council ran a competition for schoolchildren to submit designs for the memorial.  And the Jon Egging Trust was established to encourage young people to follow their dreams as Jon did.

Close to the Red Arrows memorial is an outstanding memorial to a couple who also followed their dreams.

Russell-Cotes Museum in Bournemouth, Dorset

Russell-Cotes Museum and Galleries in Bournemouth, Dorset Credit: Valery Collins

Merton Russell-Cotes his wife were avid travellers and passionate collectors or art and artefacts.  They amassed such a large collection that they built a house solely for the purpose of putting it on display.  The couple gave the villa and all its contents to the people of Bournemouth.  In 1922 the local council opened the property as a museum and art gallery.  Since then the house and galleries have been registered as a charity and run by volunteers.  The rooms are just as they were when the Russell-Cotes lived in the villa.  It is a lovely place to spend an afternoon.

For those who dream of flying through the air the Bournemouth zip wire could provide fulfilment.

Bournemouth Pier Zip Wire

Bournemouth Pier in Bournemouth, Dorset Credit: Valery Collins

Clad in a harness and helmet participants climb to the top of the steel tower at the end of Bournemouth pier – and step out into mid-air.  The descent to the beach is short, fast and thrilling.   There is also the Observation Wheel on the sea-front for a more sedate experience and a chance to take in the lovely views of the coastline and the Lower Gardens of the town.  These gardens are the first of three splendid Victorian Gardens that stretch along the banks of the narrow River Bourne.  Bournemouth has a lot more than sand and sea to offer its visitors.

Article by Valery Collins, the Experienced Traveller

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