Broadstairs Water Gala
For many, many years, the Wednesday after Folk Week has always been Water Gala day here in Broadstairs. Neptune rises out of the water, Punch & Judy play to enraptured children and music and entertainment fills the beach and its surrounds.
Last year we only went down for the airshow for some reason, so this year, with the forecast good, I decided to make it a beach day. Along with a lot of other people it would seem!
When we arrived on Viking Bay, the main beach in Broadstairs, it was packed with families, all enjoying the incredible weather and the entertainment.
We’d missed Neptune’s arrival, but he wandered around the beach, having his photo taken with children keen to meet him. Even the beach cleaners made an effort, wearing pirate hats to adorn their uniforms, and delighting my children, and no doubt many others.
We watched boat trips come and go from the jetty, people exploring the RNLI lifeboat and a jet ski demonstration with a marvellous water jet invention that literally allowed the user to rise out of the water. It was fantastic and I’d love to try it!
Then there was the main event of the airshow. In previous years, this has included visits from the Red Arrows but this year coincided with the start of the 70 year old Catalina’s memorial circuit of Britain, the oldest airworthy amphibian plane. She flew past a number of times, showing off her beauty, before continuing on her way northwards.
Next we were treated to an aerobatic display that seemed to defy gravity. The plane flew vertically into the sky, only to cascade downwards, seemingly out of control and righting itself just in time. He flew upside down in a perfect straight line across the bay and created loop the loops in the sky. The children were thrilled and excited by it and really believed he was going to crash into us every time he pointed his nose in our direction and flew towards us, shifting up and left just in time.
In the evening we had the only firework display of the summer and the promenade was full. We stood on a street corner to watch from afar, rather than trying to squeeze in among the crowds with a pushchair and a little person. Bear wasn’t too sure of the noise and flashing and by the end was looking close to meltdown so we were glad it didn’t go for too long.
Bunny however, loved it, although admitted later that she hadn’t expected the bangs to be as loud as they were! And on the way home, she said to me, “This is how my face looked when I was watching the fireworks”. And duly pulled a face of complete awe.
A fun day, helped by the glorious weather that gave way to rain overnight. We were lucky for another year and it was lovely to have an excuse to head onto the beach, despite wife not liking it!
Well done to all involved with its organisation and management. It is appreciated!