Bognor resident helps to save Birdman event

A sight likely to be in the Bognor skies this year. Picture: Adam White
A sight likely to be in the Bognor skies this year. Picture: Adam White
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A Bognor resident has stepped up to save the 2016 Birdman event.

Kevin Byrne, founder of Selsey-based Checkatrade, admitted he feels a ‘special connection’ to the event.

He explained: “My late father was part of the committee that organised some of the very first Birdman Rallies in Selsey, way back in the 1970s.”

Mr Byrne said he was ‘delighted’ that Checkatrade was able to ‘step in and help support the Bognor Birdman’.

There were fears it would be cancelled after a bid to the town council for grant aid was refused, leaving organisers struggling to get the necessary funding.

Barry Jones, the chairman of the event’s committee, said: “We were reluctant to see it disappear.

“I’ve known Bognor since the late 1930s and I want things to continue here.”

He said: “It is for the people of Bognor.

“We get approached by a lot of people who want to sell food and drink at the event but we refuse.

“We want the business to go to the traders in the town.”

Funding has regularly been a cause for concern.

Mr Jones said: “When Richard Branson ran Birdman, money was no object. When you need to follow that, it is difficult.

“We need to build on it every year.”

Attracting big names to take the plunge has been less of an issue.

A BBC presenter is reportedly in the process of signing up for this year’s event on September 3 and 4.