Of course the big disappointment for me and my cousins was the fact that the Tiger Moth, G-AFWI/BB814, in which my father learned to fly, was not able to be flown over from Norfolk by its owner Paul Harvey because of the bad weather. My brother Andrew, who lives in the States, was also unable to get over for Pre-War Prescott, though he would absolutely have loved to see the Tiger Moth. Also rained off from the event were my father’s two step-brothers, Derek and Chris, and their wives, and Harry Birkner, a relative on our Grandmother’s side, all of whom were aiming to join us for today. However, we’re hoping that we can meet up with Paul and the Tiger Moth sometime next year, and if Andrew can get over at the same time, that would be fantastic. I will now work on the schedule for next year and see what we can come up with. All heartfelt thanks to Ian Grace of Pre-War Prescott and for Paul Harvey for attempting to make this dream possible – we still hold out for next year!
Category Archives: vintage cars
Pre-War Prescott exhibitd some measure of the spirit of the blitz on Saturday (19th July) as rain lashed down to the accompaniment of thunder and lightning. I arrived on site at around 9.00 with Chattie strapped onto the back of the carrier, thinking that pre-war cars would be a bit short on the ground with the monsoon conditions, but they came pouring in – literally – through the gate, many driven some miles without all-weather hoods. By the time I had unloaded Chattie, with the help of my cousin Alan, I was soaked through to my skin through my rain coat and trousers, and if he hadn’t lent me another one of his, the top half of me would have been drenched as well. Thank you so much, Alan!
We watched through the murk and downpour as the cars swished their way up the hill, their occupants obviously enjoying themselves. But by the afternoon, they were going up dry, and I have a picture etched in my mind of a couple zooming past, the lady passenger laughing in delight, and her white-blonde hair streaming out behind with the speed.
These cars have a special throaty sound, each one with its own voice. No car is just like another; they are individuals with modifications inside and out that have changed them subtly over the years, and each is a character on its own. Many of the owners have kept the same car lovingly over decades, and they have become part of the family, and connected indelibly with family memories. One couple wondered who would look after the car when they themselves were gone, and hoped that one of their children would take on the guardianship. This is a hobby with a lot of love.
What a weekend. Near-perfect weather and for someone who has never seen a real airshow at all, it was wonderful to start with probably the best in the world. The Red Arrows – thrill, precision and an excellent commentary from ‘Red 10’, the airbus with its ponderous bulk and fluked tail graceful in the sky like a whale in the water; the grace of the Polish formation – grey-glint and silver gleam against the cloud base; the flamboyant Italian display generous in sweep and character and a commentary that delighted with enthusiasm – ‘There he goes! Up! up! up into the sky!’; the sheer power and bone-rattling noise of the jets conveyed not so much through the air as in immediate and direct connection through the ground and our very bones – all this was thrilling. But the highlight of highlights for me was the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight: Lancaster majestic in the air, accompanied by the iconic Spitfire and Hurricane – the note in the drone of their engines we all recognise, even though we weren’t there then. Thank you everyone who put the show on for us, and the tremendous staff and volunteers who were utterly exceptional (thanks, Christian, for your help over the weekend). See my Facebook page facebook/wheretheyserved for more pictures. Here’s just one: