Award ‘regional recognition’ for ‘family’ airshow

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SHOREHAM Airshow organiser Derek Harber has been recognised with a BBC award.

He was nominated because he ‘works tirelessly to ensure the event is a success’.

Derek was voted Volunteer of the Year in the BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey Community Heroes Awards for 2013.

The presentation was held at the South Lodge Hotel, Horsham, last Wednesday, when Derek was presented with a glass trophy for his outstanding work.

Both Derek and his wife Lesley work long hours to make sure all goes well behind the scenes at Shoreham Airshow.

Press officer John Periam said: “Derek would be the first to admit ‘it is a team effort’ but every event has to have a person one can recognise as the ‘boss’, like all RAF squadrons do.”

Derek had been working with Shoreham Airshow founder Don Bean to co-organise the event and took over as organiser last year, when both Don and fellow founder Peter Eager died.

He said: “It was a surprise when my name was mentioned from a shortlist of finalists, but I was delighted that Shoreham had the regional recognition it has so rightly deserved for many years.

“It will be our 25th anniversary airshow in 2014 and hopefully the £2million target for RAFA funds will be reached.

“What makes Shoreham so special is the way the event is run, making it a family airshow and one of the pilot’s favourite venues – that is something we must retain.”

Shoreham Airshow 2014 takes place on August 30 and 31 next year and planning is already underway.

Derek said: ““We will celebrate in true style, and already discussions are under way with the MOD events teams, civilian display pilots and some possible overseas visitors to make next year’s show that little bit special.”

He said the 2013 event had been one of the most successful to date, with exceptional ticket sales and excellent flying displays.