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Red Arrows join Dr Emma Egging for unveiling of memorial to pilot Jon Egging
4:40pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 in News
THE permanent memorial to Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging has been unveiled on Bournemouth's East Cliff.
It will be a lasting tribute to the ace flyer, who died when his Hawk aircraft came down near the airport at the end of the Saturday display last year.
The memorial has been months in the planning and design and the process has involved Flt Lt Egging's widow, Emma, his mother, Dawn, Red Arrows colleague, Red 6 Flt Lt Ben Plank, the council and schoolchildren.
They were all present at the site at lunchtime on Wednesday as the memorial was unveiled for the first time ahead of the Bournemouth Air Festival beginning tomorrow.
There was a reception at the nearby Miramar Hotel beforehand with 130 guests.
Many of Jon and Emma's friends were there, as were all the members of the current Red Arrows team ahead of their first display at the air festival tomorrow.
Dr Emma Egging told guests: “We are incredibly grateful for the support and kindness from the people of Bournemouth.
“The last year has been immensely difficult but some good has come out of our loss with the founding of the Jon Egging Trust.”
Jon's mum, Dawn, told the Echo: “Everyone has been so kind and we feel really privileged to have been working with local children and local people on the memorial. And it is so beautiful.
“Jon was such a lovely lad. He was the kindest person you could meet and I can never think about him without thinking about his special smile. He would have been very proud to see all this.”
Tom Dowden, 17, from Poole, who set up the RIP Jon Egging Facebook tribute page on the day Jon died, said: "I wanted to be able to pay my own tribute to Jon and to enable others to do so."
To date, the page has attracted 209,000 tributes.
Tom, a student at Poole High , was a guest at the ceremony.
Bournemouth Red Arrows Association President, Terry Trevett, added: "I am very proud to be here and to be associated with such a fine memorial to a wonderful man and good friend, Jon Egging."
Jon's close friend and Reds Arrows pilot, Flt Lt Ben Plank, said the loss of Jon and later in the year, pilot Sean Cunningham, had been massive blows for the team.
“The memorial is a wonderful tribute to Jon and it has been a fantastic effort by the people of Bournemouth. It will always be one the most special of places for us. Displaying here has always very special and will now always be very poignant."
The memorial on East Overcliff Drive is based on an original idea by Kinson Primary School pupils Penny Vallier and George Cutler, who drawing was picked by Emma and Dawn from dozens put forward.
It comprises three soaring Red Arrows planes crafted from glass and each plane has a five metre long stainless steel mount, featuring red, white and blue glass beads and sweeping smoke effect finish.
Cllr Phil Stanley-Watts, Mayor of Bournemouth said: “The Red Arrows have always had a special place in the hearts of the people of the town.
“Since they first wowed and astounded us with their breathtaking displays, many a child has aspired to being Red One.
“The passing of Jon Egging united the town's residents and visitors in their shock and devastation.”
THE JON EGGING MEMORIAL IN FIGURES
- Weight of memorial: 1 ton
- Height of memorial: 5 metres
- Stainless steel contrails: 3
- Glass Red Arrow planes: 3
- Signature colours: 3
- Coloured glass discs in each stainless steel contrail: 60
- Weight of Purbeck stones in the landscaping: 12 tonnes
- Weight of single largest Purbeck stone: 1 ton
- Cost to council to commission memorial and landscaping £15,000
- Time taken to make the steel memorial contrails: 3 weeks
- Time taken to make the glass Red Arrow planes: 2 weeks
- Attempts to get the Red Arrow glass planes cast just right: 3
- Days to crane and concrete the memorial into place: 1
- Number of drawings submitted by Bournemouth schoolchildren for the design: 40
- Education establishments that submitted design ideas: 14
- Council departments involved in making the memorial happen: 12
- External companies involved in making the memorial a reality: 7