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Report from Cotswold Airport

by Ian Homer. Posted to category: General

Revival Festival.

29th & 30th September 2018

Bob Jackson reports on the show.

The trailer gets busy with visitors.

It was sunny when we arrived at Cotswold Airport, formerly RAF Kemble, to set-up for their annual Revival Festival. This year was, of course, the year of the RAF 100 celebrations and the Revival Festival set out to celebrate this anniversary. The setting up was briefly interrupted by the arrival of a Royal Navy Merlin which was parked behind the event unit, although the picture looks as if we were being airlifted into the event - we wish!  

We awoke to a Saturday morning that was cool and very bright with a few clouds and vapour trails in the sky. A quick opportunity to say ‘hello’ to the two Canberra PR9s, then final arrangements on the stand and we were ready to greet the public. Like all revival events, there was a definite air of nostalgia with many visitors entering into the spirit of the weekend by dressing in period clothing and uniforms. 

As a revival meeting there were no air displays but flights in a Tiger Moth and a helicopter were available, which must have been spectacular as by noon, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. With a Monster truck loose in the arena giving thrills, the day was proving to be great fun.

Then came the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), not with their trucks and cranes, but from the sky in the form of the REME ‘Lightning Bolts’ Army Parachute Display Team. They were dressed in vintage uniform of WW II German paratroopers. Why? It soon became clear, when, having arrived at the Drop Zone, they were promptly arrested by Land Army Girls and a contingent the Home Guard. It was all very well done and a great spectacle.

And so the afternoon drew on. Out came the Steam engines from full size to 1/3rd size, and if that didn’t bring on a touch of what used to be, then you could always have visited the WWI and RAF100 pop-up museum in the Boeing 747.

So the first day drew to a close with many visitors having come to the stand, many more questions than we had envisaged, but answered as concisely and accurately as possible. Amongst those to visiting were Founding Guardians, enthusiasts and just those who wanted that something different from the XH558 collections.

'Arrests' were made with the Home Guard weilding pitch-forks.

The Boeing 747 acted as a exhibition hall and stood over the general display area as a great focal point. 

Sunday was cold, actually, Sunday was very cold. The wind direction turned from the north, which meant it was blowing straight into the event unit. At 10.00am when the public were permitted entry, the temperature was about 7deg C, and whilst it did climb slowly during the day, it did affect the visitor numbers. However, this gave the Event Team a chance to take a wander around the other stalls to see what was on offer, or to visit the Merlin and the Wasp owned and flown by Terry 'Doc' Martin, who gave a fantastic history of the Wasp, which like the Vulcan, was involved in the Falklands Conflict, being  flown from HMS Endurance on the 25/04/1982 – attacking the Argentine submarine ‘Santa Fe’ in the entrance to Cumberland Bays with AS12 missiles (3 hits)  - a first for a Royal Navy helicopter – which then had the small problem of accepting the surrender of the crew whilst still in the air!


From Steam traction engines to a Royal Navy Wasp helicopter. There was plenty for everyone!

With more events similar to the day before, it was soon time to pack our bags and wend our way back to Stratford-upon-Avon.

It was certainly a good weekend away. A chance to say farewell to the airshow season, and to the Event and Stores Team that have worked so hard during the year. Thanks Ladies and Gentlemen for all your help and support and a special thanks to all those who have visited us during the year.

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