Bournemouth Red Arrows Association (BRAA) was formed in October 1994 by six avid supporters of The Red Arrows, - our founder Chairman, Dr Julian Tawn, Doug Wilson who was then the Managing Director of Bournemouth International Airport. Chris Hopkins representing the local radio station, 2CR, the late Mrs Gill Tawn who took on the role of Public Relations Adviser, Capt John Myers, ex Red Arrows pilot and the then Operations Director of FR Aviation (now Cobham) and our longest serving Chairman, Terry Trevett.
BRAA is a non-profit making organisation and until the arrival of the Bournemouth Air Festival, was dedicated to securing financial backing to ensure that the world famous 'Red Arrows' would display over Bournemouth at least once a year. In addition to the Executive Committee, the Association enjoys the support of more than 100 members for whom meetings, usually addressed by a guest speaker, are held on the second Tuesday of each month. These meetings tend to generate some additional funding for our chosen Charities.
Happily, careful planning and some good luck has allowed income to exceed outgoings following all of our displays. In 1995 and 1996 the essential funding was raised by various events and from personal donations and also from growing support from the local business community. For reasons beyond our control there was no display in 1997 but the publicity we received drew the attention of Michael Le Fort, the MD of Pizaz, a locally based cosmetics company. He became our first backer and that really opened up the trail for us. We are grateful to all subsequent backers, the Daily Echo 1999/2000, Holton Machinery Ltd in 2001, Westover Group in 2002, cheaky.com for 2003, David Phipp House Furnisher in 2004, Drilling Systems in 2005, Canotec in 2006 and VTTS for the last display BRAA organised in 2007.At each display we organised a Charity Corporate Lunch. In 1995, 72 people attended at the Bournemouth International Centre and by 2001, the support had grown to capacity at 160 (maximum for the venue). We continued to have a full house each year thereafter. Our prime aim was to raise the financial support to bring the Red Arrows to Bournemouth, and allied to that to seek to give our backers value for their investment in us. As a by-product of our endeavours, we are very proud that local Charities and good causes have benefited by more than £220,000 to date. Those causes have included the Ladybird Appeal, The Daily Echo ‘Pot of Gold’ Appeal, Youth Cancer Trust, Domino Appeal, Fiona Appleyard Appeal, Julia’s House, Dorset Children’s Hospice Service, Stable Home Family Trust, Bournemouth Scouts Butchers Coppice Appeal, Macmillan Cancer Research, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Air Training Corps, RAF Benevolent Fund, Vulcan to the Sky Appeal, RAF Association, Holton Lea, the Gamma Appeal at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, PRAMA, SSAFA, Round Table Children’s Wish, the Red Arrows Trust Fund and several Navy and Army charities. Most recently we have collected and donated more than £13,000.0 in memory of Fl Lt Jon Egging who was tragically killed when his aircraft crashed near Bournemouth on 20th August 2011.
Our members section is open to interested persons to join us. Away visits to air shows and places of interest are part of our regular programme. Our current Chairman Ian Vincent has been working on regular meetings and lead the committee in organising our 25th birthday event "Dinner with the Pilots". The event took place on 29th August and attracted former Red Arows pilots from each of the 25 years being celebrated. The pilots each agreed to host tables and so every table had at least one pilot which was appreciated by all our guests. The night including a raffle and auction and raised over £4200.00 which is due to be passed on to the Jon Egging trust at the end of the year.
This year our dinner will be repeated on Thursday 20th August