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Blickling Proms: a very British salute to the RAF

PUBLISHED: 13:34 29 May 2018

Great British Proms (pictures: Simon Finlay)

Great British Proms (pictures: Simon Finlay)


Blickling's Great British Prom night is firmly established on the calendar - and this year's theme is especially appropriate

Blickling’s Great British Prom on Saturday August 11th is to be a Great British Salute to the RAF’s 100th anniversary. Local servicemen, military memorabilia, a very gifted Military Wives Choir and sensational aerobatics fliers Aerosparx will be joining the Rolls-Royce Spitfire to combine the best of the old and the new.

On stage the National Symphony Orchestra leads the musical programme of well-known RAF-inspired music, with Cranwell Military Wives Choir and soprano Philippa Healey, joining the salute to all that is best about our Royal Air Force.

The evening will begin with a fly-past by the Rolls-Royce Spitfire; the evocative roar of probably the world’s most famous aircraft engine is sure to raise the hairs on the back of the neck!

Active servicemen and women from RAF Marham will also be participating in the evening which will include a parade and sunset ceremony as well as a reading of High Flight, one of the world’s best-known aviation poems.

RAF Marham Station Commander, Group Captain Ian Townsend, said: “We’re delighted to be participating in the Great British Prom 2018; it should be a fantastic evening and we’re all really looking forward to it. This year, there are many celebrations taking place around the country to mark the 100-year anniversary of the RAF and the Proms evening at Blickling will be a very fitting tribute.”

After the sunset ceremony, as the sun begins to fade, the AeroSPARX duo will shoot into the Blickling sky, in a blaze of colour and pyrotechnics. There are hundreds of flying display acts world-wide, but only six of these perform formation aerobatics with pyrotechnics... only one team does it all at night.

The wingtip fireworks have taken five years of development and last year an LED light system was added with over 3,000 lights that can be colour-controlled, providing an incredible spectacle for the crowd below.

Organiser Lisa Ward said: “It’s fantastic to have such an exciting programme to celebrate the RAF Centenary and we’re honoured to have serving personnel here for the evening with their families. There is such a tremendous respect for all of our armed forces and we’re very happy to be able to pay tribute through the Great British Prom, highlighting the spirit and support for our service men and women; It’s going to be a very emotional evening with some fantastic music.”

The musical programme will include William Walton’s Spitfire Prelude and Fugue and Eric Coates’s Dambusters March as well as Proms favourites like Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory and English anthem Jerusalem, closing with a spectacular firework display over the lake choreographed to the music.

As well as having free parking, guests can bring their picnics and champagne, wave their flags, sing along and soak up the atmosphere with friends in the outstanding Blickling park setting. Once again there will be a magnum of champagne on offer for the best fancy dress costume.

For full event details and tickets (£37.50) visitgreatbritishprom.co.uk or call the event box office on 01283 841601.

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