Elvington 2012Report by David Parry, Photographs were provided by Neil Hutchinson
THE COSFORD OF THE NORTH
Being there from the Wednesday to set up this event gave me the opportunity to have a good look at this historic place. Scouting around I found an old fire station that once belonged to the airfield, the sign still clearly visible saying ‘RAF Elvington’ . Now although Elvington was a wartime airbase for Halifax’s in the Second World War, the United States Air Force built a new 3,094 m (10,151 ft) runway, which was the longest in the north of England, together with a huge 19.8 hectares (49 acres) rectangular apron as a hardstanding. Additionally, a new control tower was constructed to turn Elvington into a “Basic Operation Platform” which would have operated as a Strategic Air Command (SAC) dispersal airfield. After spending £4 million, the airfield never became operational as a SAC base and was abandoned by the US Air Force in 1958.
In the early 1960s, the Blackburn Aircraft Company at Brough, near Hull, used the runway for test-flying the prototype Buccaneer aircraft. Afterwards, the RAF flying training schools at Church Fenton and Linton-on-Ouse used the runway to practise circuits and landings. RAF Elvington finally closed in March 1992 and was sold by the Ministry of Defence in January 1999.
Well, — what a show!! I will start by saying I make no apologies in this report of showing some pictures of our unsung heroes at all our events, ‘the volunteers’…. Without these people we couldn’t run the shows. Saturday saw the crowd-line filling up fast and the ATC was parking the cars in true military fashion. Back on the flight-line, the models were also out in abundance and ready to go, pilots where getting the daily briefing and the show was about to begin. Our customary LMA trainer slot started the show-off with a couple of trainer types added in. Following this were the ‘YOFs’, Harry, Tony and the gang. They put on yet another fine display as the crowds where continuing to pile in.
Now the flight line team decided to try a new tactic this time by having a large model flying in every third slot – maybe that’s the wrong wording because they are all large models, so we will say very large models…. This worked out pretty well throughout the day and kept the crowds at the flight line. The big ‘draws’, of course, were the likes of Ted Allison’s 1/4scale, English Electric Lightning which is a credit to Ted , the Comet 4 flown by Steve Rickett and, making its 2012 debut, the Terry Team VC10, flown by Dave Johnson. The latter two were flown together which was a real show stopper only being rivalled by the panache of the Lightning, again in Dave Johnson’s hands. Steve Carr’s 60% Extra also had the public glued to their seats as he demonstrated his acrobatics manoeuvres choreographed to music. The Fighter Aces team was also on top form with their display of WWII fighters beating-up the runway and the 1/4-scale Grumann Panther jets of Dave Swarbrick and Harold Dowbekin (the latter’s flown by Dave Johnson), also demonstrated some superb formation flying. The list of pilots and planes goes on and on as each pilot performed some fantastic displays throughout the day. Together with the massive trade presence, the public went home very happy.
Once again we tried something new, hiring a marquee but sans licensed bar. Entertainment in the form of the band ‘Jamshaks’ (from the Longhorsley days) was provided. Everyone was told to bring their own tipple, and this turned-out to be a great success and for the first time in many years the marquee was full with campers. I could be wrong, but I feel we have finally found out that the best way is to not have a beer tent but a community tent where you can just have a get-together and drink your own beer, wine or whatever you want. Let’s hope we can repeat this in 2013……
Started-off much the same as Saturday, but the crowd attendance was a lot slower. The highlights of the day – apart from the flying displays – were the full size Yak and Kraguj – their departure at around midday was somewhat different you might say…. As the flying display continued into the late afternoon, we had what had to be the show stopper ending in the form of one of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfires being piped-in by our Scottish contingency in the form of the ATC Squadron, who did a sterling job all weekend manning the car park, flight line gates and walk about. This was a great end to a superb weekend and, to top it all, we had some great weather too – roll on next year!
Please click image to enlarge.
The Comet 4 flown by Steve Rickett and, making its 2012 debut, the Terry Team VC10, flown by Dave Johnson.
Our customary LMA trainer slot started the show-off, Followed by the ‘YOFs’, Harry, Tony and the gang.
Ted Allison’s 1/4scale, English Electric Lightning.
John Townsend with his ½ scale Miles Magister WW2 RAF trainer.
Steve Carr’s 60% Extra had the public glued to their seats as he demonstrated his acrobatics manoeuvres choreographed to music.
The Fighter Aces team was also on top form along with the Northwest Warbirds with their display of WWII fighters beating-up the runway
Ian Turney-White, Bristol Bulldog recently seen on Channel 5 television in Heros Of The Skies, the Douglas Bader story.
Colin Auton – FW190
Rob Gardner – Yak 55
Steve Carr – Extra flown by his mate Dave Franks.
Simon Parker – Rafale
Rob Garner – CARF Flash
Ted Cooke – Hunter
Some of the Unsung Heros, Pictures was provided by David Parry
Dave Walker and Keith Mitchell are just two of our commentators that give up there weekends to entertain and inform the public.
The Puplic Crowd Line was 3 to 5 deep all weekend.
The volunteers on the gate, who did a sterling job all weekend along with Matt Bailey on the quad bike, who provided security on the airfield over the weekend while we all slept soundly.
The white van men, you may have seen them driving around sorting out life’s little problems. Centre is our Public Safety Officer Hugh Grant and last but not lest is theTrade Stand duo Lynn and Mike.
Some of the flight line crew taking five.
Cheryl preparing drinks for the next rush of pilots
And of course the pilots getting ready for their next slot.
So there you have it, this was my contribution to all the unsung heros of our events, Thank You.
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