This event held in the fields surrounding the small Damyns Hall airstrip near Upminster, Essex, showcases various periods of military history from the earliest days until the very recent and includes battle scenarios, re-enactors, static set-pieces and air displays – the latter taking an increasingly large part in the day’s entertainment. Of the displays illustrated undoubted highlight was Dan Griffith in the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar Spitfire XVI, which thankfully coincided with the best weather of the day.
Organised by the Essex branch of the Military Vehicle Trust this event is primarily a chance for owners of tanks, armoured vehicles and re-enactment groups to showcase their equipment – and to make a lot of noise during firepower displays.
Spread over the fields adjacent to Damyns Hall Aerodrome the event also includes other vintage and retro themes, a pleasingly large number of local and military charity outlets, musical entertainment and a three hour flying display.
Polka Dot Dolls:
Making its return to display flying and sporting new details to its Vietnam era colour scheme the North Weald based Bell UH-1 ‘Huey’ impressed with an aggressive low-level routine.
Spitfire IX TA805 ‘Spirit of Kent’ from the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar appeared minus its familiar black and white invasion stripes which have been removed for film work. It was flown by Clive Denney who had returned having earlier displayed BHHH’s Harvard.
Peter Teichman displayed the Hangar 11 ‘Hurribomber’ whilst B-17 Sally B also appeared, adding to an impressive warbird line-up.
Lighter aircraft made up the rest of the show, from trainers of various ages, through communications aircraft to wingwalking.
Damyns Hall is located near Upminster, Essex, inside the M25, and has scheduled its 2014 event for 1, 2 and 3 August. Well worth looking out for.