I READ the letter from Mr Kell regarding the Spitfire event at Kendal (Letters, May 3, 'Spitfire wrong for New Road').

Let's get one thing straight from the outset. South Lakeland District Council has NEVER been involved with the planning, funding or organisation of this RAF 100 Spitfire event. Indeed, we still await SLDC approval to use our preferred New Road site for the saluting platform, RAFA Village, Spitfire and spectator area.

Possibly through lack of knowledge or maybe an overactive imagination Mr Kell insults the name of the Royal Air Force. Royal Air Force Regulars are prohibited from becoming involved in political argument or events. In no way has the Royal Air Force Air Cadets or Royal Air Force Association been requested by, or recruited by, SLDC to support any of its plans or objectives.

In terms of numbers participating in Kendal's August 18 & 19 event, the biggest component is the Royal Air Force Cadets Wings Parade. It is anticipated that 200 young Royal Air Force Air Cadets drawn from across Lancashire and Cumbria will parade.

It is also reasonable to assume their family and friends will visit Kendal over the Spitfire weekend.

It was the officer commanding 1127 (Kendal) Squadron who suggested if there could be a Spitfire as the focus for the parade it would make it extra special for these young people, and indeed for the public in general. The full cost of this parade including transport, planning, insurance and band, is being funded from RAF Air Cadets funds.

The Royal Air Force Association (RAFA), the charity that supports the RAF family, is participating in the event. RAFA believes those who have served and those presently serving, sometimes at tremendous cost to themselves and their families, should be recognised.

It is RAFA who will arrange and fund the RAF history element of the event and the marquees to put it in. RAFA will also fund promotion of the event nationally, publicity that has already triggered interests from as far away as Kent.

It is anticipated that this event will attract hundreds of visitors to Kendal.

Visitors who are likely to spend money in the shops, cafés and pubs, bringing economic benefit to Kendal.

As the RAFA representative for Kendal cadets, it was me who requested Kendal BID to provide financial support to this Kendal event, specifically the hire cost of the Spitfire, in the same way as they financially support other festivals in the town. I hope the RAF family will receive a generous welcome from Kendal people, unlike the impression created by the letter from Mr Kell.

Cadets and RAFA want to celebrate 100 years of Royal Air Force service, and there isn't a more iconic image of that service than the Spitfire. Thank you, Kendal BID, for bringing a very rare Spitfire to Kendal for both us and hopefully others to enjoy.

Brian Harrison

Royal Air Force Association