We arrived at our campsite at Crossroads Farm (52º42’41.76”N 2º19’06.84”W) in the late afternoon. This site is a Camping & Caravan Club CS and is just a section of mown field next to the owners house with electric hook ups, a couple of water outlets and some where to drain the grey water and a separate place to empty the loo. There are also simple loos and showers on site. There are pleasant views over the surrounding countryside and little traffic noise. We have been here a number of times and always enjoy the laid back atmosphere and easy access to RAF Cosford about four miles down the road.
We spent Friday evening and Saturday morning just ‘chilling’ with a nice supper on Friday evening and a lazy Saturday morning. After a quick lunch we headed down to the airfield for a 2pm meet-up with the others to set up the Vulcan Village ready for Sundays show.
Lots of chat when we all met as this was our first show of the year and once Ian, our Event Manager, arrived we went to the office to pick up our passes and drive onto the show area and find the VV.
A new set up this year from a new contractor and it all looked very smart with its raised floor, entrance ramps, and proper doors rather than tent flaps. The contractors had a huge truck complete with its own fork lift truck…….very impressive!
Tables were quickly put into place and the van unloaded, with most of the stock in cages which were rolled into the sales area to be unpacked.
Quite a long job sorting out what stock we had and getting it all laid out and priced while others got stuck in to putting up banners round the walls inside and onto the outside display panels. Flag poles were erected on all four corners, the flight sim installed in one of the ‘satellite’ tents and gradually everything came into place.
We tucked the motorhome down the side of the VV as we were going to stay on site that night and everyone went off to their respective homes or digs and left us on guard.
We spent a very quiet night, disturbed only by the police helicopter flying over a couple of times.
Up at 6:30 and ready for action at 7:30. I opened the back of the VV ready for everyone to arrive and started to stand up the books and get everything looking smart and ready to trade.
Everyone was ready for action by 8am but our Event Manager had things to fiddle with and then had to give us a briefing on the latest 2015 operation. It was 8:30 before we opened the doors and we immediately had ‘punters’ coming in and spending money.
Kate was selling raffle tickets and I was asked to look after the ‘odds & sods’, all the low priced but very popular things that are right by the door. Models & mugs, pens & patches, all the small things that people like as souvenirs of their day out and can afford in these straightened times. It was busy right from the start and I was not far from being flat out most of the time. Things slowed down once the flying display started and people had something to watch but we were always quite busy right up to the time we closed up as ‘558 was on her way.
XH558 arrived on time and in style with a pair of small RV9 aerobatic aircraft, one on each wingtip trailing smoke and following as she did a few circuits on the airfield. A final pass by the three of them and the RV9’s peeled off and left ‘558 to take centre stage.
Kev Rumens was flying and, as usual, it was a spirited display with some great wing-overs and a terrific spiral climb. I recorded the display on my phone and it was over 20 minutes which gave everyone great value for their entrance fee.
As the aircraft disappeared into the distance we went quickly back to the VV to face the expected onslaught as we re-opened. We were not disappointed. It went a little bit berserk. People were queuing to get in the door as those already in browsed the goodies on offer on my section just inside. I was serving two or three people at a time and taking money as fast as I could. I had been keeping a tally of the amount I had taken for the day but now I just gave up as I didn’t have time to count the notes I was taking. When you consider that most of the stock was only a couple of pounds a time it takes a lot of work to take hundreds of pounds.
The traffic had been very slow getting into the show in the morning with some people taking several hours to arrive. It seemed to be just as bad getting out as there was a constant queue of cars passing us for hours and many people just stayed and shopped before joining the queues. It must have been about 7:30 before we closed and by then we were all rather weary. By the time everything was packed away and loaded onto the van it was 9:30 when I finally staggered back to the motorhome and we drove back to our site. Thank goodness it was only a few miles away and all the traffic chaos had gone.
A couple of beers, a quick and simple supper and bed. It would have taken a nuclear explosion to have woken us and we had a decent lie-in the next morning before a late breakfast.
Our drive home was uneventful apart from some heavy traffic around Birmingham and through the roadworks on the M6. We had covered 347 miles @ 27.4mpg.