My Unforgettable Day with the Red Arrows

Written by Jonathan Patterson.

I’ve always been captivated by the Red Arrows, and the chance to see them up close at RAF Waddington was a dream come true.

Blog image 1 1024x320 - My Unforgettable Day with the Red Arrows
Left: Presenting in front of the Red Arrows who are taxiing to the runway at RAF Waddington Middle: I had to take a picture with the Hawk Jet MKII Right: My interview with Red 10, Graeme Muscat

Our day began in the early morning as we arrived at the base, passing through tight security checks with a sense of mounting excitement. We eagerly awaited our Red Arrows escort, who would take us to the heart of their operations.

product banner 1024x160 - My Unforgettable Day with the Red Arrows

As soon as we stepped off the Red Arrows mini-bus, the deafening roar of jet engines filled the air. We hurried to the viewing point only metres away from the runway, as the Red Arrows formed up and took off in a stunning, orchestrated formation.

Blog image 2 1024x320 - My Unforgettable Day with the Red Arrows
The Red Arrows taking off at RAF Waddington

For the next 20-30 minutes, the Red Arrows captivated us with their brand-new display for their 60th Diamond Season. Their daring barrel rolls, incredibly close manoeuvres, and crowd favourites like the Tornado left us in awe. The nine Hawk Jets flew overhead in an awe-inspiring sight, the thunderous noise was incredible. Starting with Red 1, each jet gracefully peeled away to land, marking the end of an unforgettable performance.

Blog image 4 1 1024x320 - My Unforgettable Day with the Red Arrows
Some incredible manoeuvres and formations from the Red Arrows 60th Season display

In need of a moment to absorb the experience, we decided to grab a cup of coffee. Within five minutes, a group of officers entered, with distinct marks around their ears from wearing some sort of helmets. It was then that I realised these were the Red Arrows pilots themselves, casually grabbing their coffees in their Red Arrows mugs. I was in complete awe of these men, who moments ago were hurtling through the clouds at over 500 mph.

Our RAF contact informed us that we only had a few minutes before debrief with the pilots. Led by Red One, Jon Bond, the meeting was a fascinating insight into their meticulous process. Each pilot critiqued their performance, highlighting areas for improvement and discussing how to perfect their manoeuvres for the next sortie that day. I was amazed to learn that the Red Arrows conduct these sorties and debriefs three times a day, every day, to ensure their displays are flawless and maintain their public display authority.

Blog image 5 1024x320 - My Unforgettable Day with the Red Arrows
A Red Arrows debrief led by Red 1, Jon Bond, here pilots watch there display moments after flying and critique their performance

Next, we had the privilege of meeting and interviewing Red 10, Graeme Muscat. He shared insights about the Red Arrows, their intense manoeuvres, their strong focus on teamwork, and how they are a beacon for Great Britain, flying the red, white, and blue all over the world.

We were incredibly excited to show Graeme the brand-new 50p coins specially made to celebrate the 60th Diamond Season of the Red Arrows. His elation was clear as he smiled and said, “I think it’s amazing… I can keep that one, right?”

Watch the full interview with Red 10, Graeme Muscat.

Our day with the Red Arrows was nothing short of extraordinary. From witnessing their breath-taking display to meeting the pilots and learning about their dedication, it was an experience that left us deeply inspired. The Red Arrows continue to be a symbol of excellence, teamwork, and pride for Great Britain.

To commemorate this special occasion, a brand-new coin range has been released to celebrate 60 years of the Red Arrows.

Screenshot 2024 06 12 at 11.05.25 1024x387 - My Unforgettable Day with the Red Arrows

>>> Click here to explore the complete Red Arrows 60th Anniversary Diamond Season coin range <<<

Celebrating 20 Years of Partnership between The Royal British Legion & The Westminster Collection

The Westminster Collection has been in proud partnership with The Royal British Legion for over 20 years – since 2004. This makes us one of the charity’s longest-term partners.

Ben France, the Head of Corporate Partnership at RBL says: “We are hugely proud to have The Westminster Collection as one of our longest-standing partners, a business that shares the Royal British Legion’s commitment to being there for the entire Armed Forces community…we are incredibly grateful to The Westminster Collection and its collectors for 20 years of dedicated support and look forward to reaching many more partnership milestones together.”

We couldn’t agree more, so wanted to put together something to show our appreciation to all the collectors who have supported this partnership – providing unwavering support for all these years. Keep reading below to read about the impact of collector’s donations and how this helps support the admirable work of the RBL’s Independent Living Advisors.

The impact of collectors like you

Over the remarkable 20 years of partnership, collectors have raised over £1.3 MILLION for the Royal British Legion. To mark the previous milestone of £1.25 million reached in 2023, we had the pleasure of presenting the Royal British Legion with a cheque from collectors for the incredible amount.

RBL cheque - Celebrating 20 Years of Partnership between The Royal British Legion &#038; The Westminster Collection

The RBL’s Independent Living Advisors

In 2023 alone, our collectors raised a staggering £99,800 for the RBL which could fund three specialist Independent Living Advisors for a whole year.

When every day challenges get too much for someone living in their own home, RBL Independent Living Advisors make sure that they and their carers have the essential support that helps them live safely and independently. The specialist team helps people access services and funding, from Local Authorities and other groups, for home modifications, in-home care support, and much more.

Independent Living Advisors 1024x683 - Celebrating 20 Years of Partnership between The Royal British Legion &#038; The Westminster Collection

Kingsman Anthony Cooper MBE

The RBL’s Independent Living Advisors provide support for people like Kingsman Anthony Cooper MBE:

Anthony was told he would never walk or talk again after suffering life-changing injuries in Afghanistan.

Anthony lost both his legs in a Taliban roadside bombing in Helmand Province in July 2010, and was left in a coma for five weeks. Anthony was unable to speak for several months and had to learn how to talk again, beginning with the word ‘hello’. He returned to Lancashire having defied the medics. 

Anthony Cooper - Celebrating 20 Years of Partnership between The Royal British Legion &#038; The Westminster Collection

With the help of Karen Watson, Senior Independent Living Advisor, Anthony’s home was adapted to suit his needs, which included a series of repairs to the property. The RBL worked in conjunction with his local Council who carried out the major works.  

Anthony still struggles with PTSD but the home improvements have made a vast difference to his mental wellbeing. He says: “The house is brilliant now, I can’t thank everyone enough, I’ve built up a good relationship with Karen from the Royal British Legion, and it all came from there.”

Last year, Anthony Cooper was awarded an MBE for voluntary services to veterans in HM The King’s Official Birthday Honours List 2023. 

It’s because of support from our wonderful collectors that the Royal British Legion could do this for Anthony and many more.

In 2022-2023, RBL’s Independent Living Advice service provided advice, support, and advocacy to enable 921 people to live safely and well within their homes. 

Make a donation to help the RBL give life-long support to every generation of our Armed Forces Community:

Recreating History – The Coins Flown on an Original D-Day Dakota Aircraft

On the 80th anniversary of D-Day this year, we remember the bravery and sacrifices of those who fought for our freedom.

Amplifying this is a very special event which has just been held honouring this milestone – one that brought history to life in the most poignant way. A fleet of original WWII Dakota aircraft just took to the skies, carrying a select few coins from The Westminster Collection, on a journey that mirrored the exact route our Allied soldiers travelled 80 years ago to the shores of Normandy.

Watch the video below to find out more about this highly significant event and view the whole range of FLOWN D-Day 80th Anniversary Coins…

D Day 80th Anniversary Flown Coin Range Homepage Banner 1024x386 - Recreating History – The Coins Flown on an Original D-Day Dakota Aircraft

Or view the range in detail below…

The D-Day 80th Gold Penny First Strike Parachuted Edition

D Day 80th Gold Penny Lifestyle 01 - Recreating History – The Coins Flown on an Original D-Day Dakota Aircraft
Blog image 4 - Recreating History – The Coins Flown on an Original D-Day Dakota Aircraft
  • Once over Carentan in Normandy, a team of paratroopers made an historic jump carrying these solid Gold Pennies, re-enacting the jumps made by thousands of allied soldiers on D-Day.
  • Now landed, each coin is being carefully re-housed in a special tamper proof capsule and placed in a deluxe Presentation Case with a Certificate of Authenticity – confirming it as one of the 250 coins to be flown and parachuted.
  • Each Jersey Gold Proof Penny has been struck from 9 Carat Gold and has been fully approved by Buckingham Palace and His Majesty the King.

Click here to secure your D-Day Solid Gold Parachuted Penny >>

The D-Day 80th Anniversary Silver Proof 50p Set – Flown Edition

2024 D Day Jersey Silver 50ps Lifestyle 02 1 - Recreating History – The Coins Flown on an Original D-Day Dakota Aircraft
  • A worldwide edition limit of just 450, JUST 80 sets flownSOLD OUT.

The UK 1944 Flown Sixpence D-Day Frame – Flown Edition

  • Features an original 1944 Silver Sixpence – struck in the year of the Normandy Landings.
  • 1944-dated British coins have become extremely sought-after in the 80th anniversary year, but what makes this edition truly extraordinary is its profound journey.
  • Stunning framed edition featuring Dakota artwork – a true piece of history.

Click here to secure your UK 1944 Sixpence D-Day Frame >>

The World War Two Half-Crowns – Flown Edition

cert lifestyle v2 - Recreating History – The Coins Flown on an Original D-Day Dakota Aircraft
  • Original World War Two British Half-Crowns – struck in 1939 and 1945 – the first and last year of WWII
  • World War Two British coins have become extremely sought-after during the 80th anniversary of D-Day, their journey to Normandy makes these even more collectible.
  • Protected in tamperproof capsules in a luxury presentation box – with a certificate of authenticity that details the coins’ journey 
  • Just 250 of these special edition WWII coin pairs are available worldwide.

Click here to secure your World War Two Half-Crowns >>

The D-Day 80th Anniversary Flown Silver £5 Cover

DN 2024 Dakota Flown Silver 5 Cover product images 1 2 - Recreating History – The Coins Flown on an Original D-Day Dakota Aircraft
  • JUST 250 worldwide SOLD OUT.

We’re honoured to offer these coin releases to honour and remember the bravery and sacrifice of our troops 80 years on. We will always remember them.

To visit the range, just go to: