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... And more clouds on horizon: Bleriot event firm crash lands

Spitfire flies over Duke of York's School
Spitfire flies over Duke of York's School

by Graham Tutthill

The company that organised the Bleriot centenary celebrations in Dover has gone into liquidation.

Business consultants Cresting Limited put the Dover 2009 event together but its affairs are now being wound up.

The weekend, at the end of July, included a recreation of Bleriot’s flight by international pilots, a spectacular firework display, a fly-past by the Red Arrows, and a £250-a-head gala dinner at Dover Castle with guest speaker Gyles Brandreth.

Cresting’s boss Paul Tipple said: “Sadly, the Friday prior to the centenary weekend saw some of the worst storms of the summer affecting the whole of southern England. Coincidentally, computer failure at P&O caused gridlock of traffic in the Dover region.

“This resulted in many aerial exhibitors and potential spectators calling off their plans to attend. Although the weekend was sunny and dry, the residual strong gusting winds caused many last-minute cancellations in the aerial programme and prevented many historic and vintage light aircraft, including several of the Bleriot XI aeroplanes planning to fly across the English Channel, from participating as planned.

“The direct consequence of this was that visitor numbers and receipts were significantly lower than planned on the Saturday and virtually non-existent on the Sunday.

“The expenses committed to by Cresting Limited exceeded the amounts raised from all sources, including a significant financial investment on my own part, and accordingly the company has had to advise people of its liquidation.”

In a statement Dover District Council said: “Any creditors are advised to contact the liquidators at the following address as soon as possible: Milsted Langdon at One Redcliff Street, Bristol, BS1 6NP.

“The council was not a party to any commercial arrangements between Cresting and its suppliers, and therefore does not anticipate any financial repercussions for the council.”

The council has been in contact with the liquidators to attempt to retrieve some “emergency payments” made before the event.

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