The season-opening airshow at the old RAF base in Oxfordshire (now Dalton Barracks) is always an incredible achievement by the small volunteer team, and held in aid of the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust. The 2014 event suffered slightly from a few cancellations, but still managed to deliver a great show. The following is a pictorial record of the weekend, including the practices and arrivals on the Saturday 3 May and that evening’s night-shoot, which itself generated a very a welcome boost to the charity’s total.
The Heveningham Hall Country Fair has been a fixture in the local Suffolk calendar for 15 years, and for 2013 incorporated the Halesworth Lion’s Wings and Wheels event. It was also extended to a two day show, held over the weekend 6 and 7 July 2013. The Lion’s Wings and Wheels show had for many years been held at Henham Park, also in Suffolk, but had to be cancelled in 2012 because of the ground conditions caused by the appalling weather which effected so many events last year. The charity had to suffer the costs from that cancellation so decided that amalgamating their event with that held at Heveningham would ensure such losses would not be repeated.
As at Henham Park a temporary grass strip was designed into the picturesque parkland to the rear of the Hall to allow for the fly-in which is the major aviation aspect of the event. With this being the first event at Heveningham Hall it was decided to keep the actual display flying to just two slots by the Blades and one by a Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
The tree-lined backdrop and rolling fields make for a beautiful location to view the movements by the various visiting aircraft.
BBMF ‘boss’ Duncan Mason displayed the newly restored Spitfire LFXVIe TE311 over the Suffolk countryside, with the display area being over the lake at the front of the Hall.
The Blades begin their display with a crowd-rear entry which brought them straight over the Hall. For 2013 the team have reverted to a mainly orange scheme.
The Heveningham Hall Country Fair was already a large event, covering as it does a huge area of the estate and including all the traditional elements of such a fair – from Punch and Judy to Monster Trucks. The inclusion of the Lion’s Wings and Wheels added another dimension to the show, and one which it is hoped can be expanded upon in the future as the plans are to include a more dedicated display element to the programme.