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Southport Air Show was a rip-off in my opinion! I decided to go to the show at Southport for the first time this year and as soon as I arrived there I began haemorrhaging money.
I followed the signs for 'Park and Ride', thinking that this would be the easiest way to get into the town centre initially, and then a quick walk to the beach where the show was located. I was disgusted to find that the usual £1.00 parking fee had been increased to £5.00, and that the 'Park and Ride' bus was actually not running, and that I would have to walk into town. As I was with my elderly father who is disabled with ostio-arthritis, this proved very difficult, to say the least. This was the first rip-off of the day.
Upon arriving at the air show, I was astonished to discover that charges for 'pedestrian entry' was £8.00 each, and that the only concession that seemed to be offered was for 'Children Under Five - Free entry'. My father who is in his 70's had to pay the full fee, and I'm assuming any child unfortunate enough to be 5 or over also would have to have paid the full £8.00. Another rip-off in my opinion. Furthermore, it was only when I got inside that it dawned on me that I had not been given a programme, and upon enquiring, I was told that a programme would cost an extra £3.00! Let's just see how much more cash we can squeeze out of the public eh?
My father had been to the air show in the past, and he was astonished at the very few stalls that were present now in comparison to past events. There were very few indeed, and rather than being actually on the beach as in the past they were on the other side of the road; instead the beach was packed with many more cars than in the past, all of which will, of course, have been charged a hefty fee to park.
Whilst I enjoyed the few planes and helicopters that I did see, particularly the fantastic red arrows (their skill is breath-taking!), we left early because of the very poor weather and I was left with the feeling that the whole air show was one vast, money-making machine that had no regard for people on low incomes, the elderly, or indeed families with children. I'm sick of working long, hard hours for my salary, only to find that at shows like these (Ludlow Food Festival is another example by the way), the value of the pound in my pocket is worth relatively very little indeed!