Taking off for Flying Man festival

There will be exhibitions and displays in and around All Saints' Church.
There will be exhibitions and displays in and around All Saints' Church.

Pocklington’s Flying Man Festival takes off this Saturday and Sunday, 12 and 13 May, with a packed programme of activities and events.

There will be exhibitions, displays and fayre for all ages based in and around All Saints’ Church, most with an aerial theme.

The zip wire. This year youngsters can send their teddies down the ride.

The zip wire. This year youngsters can send their teddies down the ride.

The festival remembers showman Thomas Pelling who came to a tragic end in 1733, going down in history as ‘The Flying Man of Pocklington’.

The festival, now in its 14th year, contains a mix of old favourites and new innovations. During the week intrepid parishioners have undertaken the Flying Man Challenge, a 50-mile journey from Pelling’s birthplace in Burton Stather, to where he made his fatal descent from Pocklington church tower. And some walkers will do the last leg from Nunburnholme on Saturday morning accompanied by the church Brownies group, arriving to a peal of the church bells.

Weather permitting, both days get an early start with hot air balloons taking off at 6am.

The Flying Man cafe is in full swing on Saturday (10am to 4pm) and Sunday (10.30am to 4pm), plus ice cream and cake stalls and specially brewed Flying Man beer.

And All Saints church will be packed with displays, stalls and activities on both days.

There will be gliding simulator flights, the remarkable RAF Pocklington scale model, birds of prey in the churchyard, trips up the tower, and exhibitions from local organisations including the Yorkshire Red Kites, the local history group, photographic society and canal society. Outside the street will be closed on both days and filled with a children’s playground and activities. On Saturday there is a duck race on the beck at 2pm, on Sunday children can send their teddies from the tower by zipwire.

The popular Flying Man concert is on Saturday evening with bar at 7.30pm with a varied programme from local artists, tickets £6 from the church office or on the door.

More details on the event are available from the Flying Man Festival website: http://www.pockflyingman.org.uk.

Also this weekend it’s the annual reunion of the 102 Squadron Association, the World War II squadron that was based at RAF Pocklington from 1942 to the airfield’s closure in 1946.