Stunning cine footage from a 1973 air display at Seaburn - see how low the planes

Have you ever seen anything like this?

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 1:46 pm

It shows an air display in Sunderland in 1973 but the daredevil moves are something to behold.

Watch as one plane swoops within feet of the audience. Another clip shows a plane inches off the beach and flying past two spectators on the sand who are holding a banner.

A third part of the film shows planes flying almost on top of each other.

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Bob Wingate and stills from the film footage he took in 1973.

The cine footage was shared with us by Rob Kilburn of Sunderland Antiquarian Society and provided to him by local man David Wingate whose dad Bob Wingate originally shot the film almost 50 years ago.

Rob said: “Growing up in Sunderland I don't think there is a soul who isn't familiar with the Air Show. This clip is a different kind of airshow altogether though and I certainly would not like to be one of the men holding the banner while the planes whizz by underneath it so close!”

David previously told the Sunderland Echo his dad had both a passion and a working life which centred around film.

Bob, who passed away around 9 years ago, worked at Saxons before he left to become the manager of the photography department at Binns.

An astonishing scene as a plane flies past people on the beach in this footage from Bob Wingate.

Photography and film “was his passion and his job,” said David.

The air display footage is the latest in a series of cine films which Bob Wingate originally filmed in the 1970s and which was made available to the Antiquarian Society and the Echo by David Wingate.

They were on board the school ship Nevasa and David was on the ship himself/

In close formation and within feet of the beach in this film footage recorded by Bob Wingate.

The Antiquarian Society which was founded in 1900 has a fast-growing membership.

The Society holds extensive archives which have been amassed and donated over the past century by the people of Sunderland.

To find out more about the history of Sunderland, visit the Antiquarian Society’s Facebook page or website at

What a show for these spectators in 1973, as recorded by Bob Wingate.

Do you have historic cine footage of Sunderland that you would like to share with the Echo?

Tell us more by emailing [email protected]

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Close to the beach - and to a bystander.
Wing-to-wing flying, as filmed by Bob Wingate.
Bob Wingate who recorded the cine footage.