Sunshine and showmanship draw the crowds to Seafront Spectacular 8

Purple Helmet bike stunt team from Isle of Man.
Purple Helmet bike stunt team from Isle of Man.

ARBROATH’S modern incarnation of the Extravanganzas held at the Victoria Park 50 and 60 years ago - the Seafront Spectacular - was another major success on Saturday for the organising committee.

The show is put together by an Arbroath Events team comprising directors Jean Stewart, Ann Birse, Howard Cargill and Wilson Robson and once again lived up to expectation attracting a crowd estimated to be about 15,000.

And an afternoon of brilliant sunshine no doubt contributed in large measure to the thrills, spills and excitement.

The event was opened once again by the Arbroath Sea Cadet Band who played at the road arena.

They were followed by the Kevin Carmichael Stunt Show and the Steve Colley Bike Show, two events which attracted big audiences.

The Dundee University Drive team gave a demonstration in their racing cars before the first flying display at 2 p.m.

Steve Colley and Kevin Carmichael amended their displays for the second showing later in the afternoon.

One of the highlights of the day was the inaugural performance in Arbroath by the Purple Helmet motorcycle display team from the Isle of Man in the central grass arena. Their comedy programme of stunts and daredevil riding was very well received even though the riders did not manage to stay upright all the time.

There were many other displays and demonstrations to keep interest, including a dog agility display by the Angus Dog Activity Club, regular sessions by the Declaration Band, a display by Knights of Monymusk and rows of wonderfully restored cars and motor bikes by organisations which included the Mini Clan and Tayside Classic Car Club

From an earlier era there was the Fowler steam engine and the mini fire engine and bus from Kerr’s Miniature Railway did a roaring trade all day taking youngsters on trips along the promenade.

Howard Cargill commented: “Saturday was an absolutely fantastic day. All the directors thought it was great, helped in no small measure by the marvellous weather. If the weather had gone the other way it would have been different. Everybody seemed to enjoy it and the acts went down a storm.

“The Purple Helmets motorcycle display team from the Isle of Man provided a refreshing change. Kevin Carmichael was as popular as ever and it was good to see him in a car this time. Steve Colley, also from the Isle of Man was tremendous as usual.

“There were a lot of nice comments from people about the free bouncy castle for children and the entertainment that was on the park. Mike Brandie the magician proved popular as he walked about bamboozling people with his card tricks.

“Overall, it was excellent and there was a real buzz about Victoria Park.

“The helicopter pleasure flights provided by H.G. Helicopters from Perth on their Bell Jetranger started off slowly but they had a fantastic day as well and were over the moon with the business they did.”

Mr Cargill continued: “A Jungmann biplane trainer in Spanish Air Force markings presented a flying display just off the foreshore and the pilot, Colin Hunter, later burst balloons which had been released in the arena with his propeller. “Unfortunately, a Pitt’s Special sports biplane which had been scheduled to appear did not take part as the pilot had a medical problem and was not able to fly.

“We had loads of great comments on the day. We do a free competition for the children the prize for which this year was a bicycle. The entry forms produce as high as 50 per cent on non local participants. This is very encouraging as it shows that the advertising we do is effective.

“It is a hard weekend and there is a lot of work goes into the show. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the volunteers, family members youth groups - indeed, everyone who gives of their time and energy to help.

“We returned to the showground at 9 a.m. on Sunday and everything was cleared away in good order. It’s great that people take an interest. One who should be singled out is Graham Webster. He has been there every year for us and works tirelessly.

“As long as we can put on a show, people are happy with it and we can cover our costs then it will continue.”

To see a gallery of pictures from the Seafront Spectacular click on the link on the right.