Dunsfold Wings and Wheels 2014

It is nearly the end of August and we are back on the road after a lovely summer spent enjoying our Suffolk home. We usually spend large parts of the summer travelling around the UK but Kate wanted to spend more time at home this year, making the best of the garden and conservatory.

August Bank Holiday weekend means Dunsfold Wings and Wheels, one of our favourite shows and one where we can camp on the airfield, so early Friday morning we left home for the drive on the usually busy roads to Surrey. Our 7am departure meant that the traffic was much lighter than we anticipated and even the Dartford crossing didn’t delay us for too long and so we were the first to arrive at Dunsfold. Very soon the rest of the set up team started to turn up and once Bob and Isi arrived with a trailer full of kit we could get cracking.
In the past we have had contractors build our marquee for the Vulcan Village but that costs large amounts of the money we are trying to raise to keep our Vulcan flying. Now, for medium size shows, the Trust have purchased some self assembly Gala Tents that just slot together. In a short time we had two 8x4m and one 4x4m tents erected to make a large U shaped arrangement. Once Mark arrived with the van full of stock and tables we could dress out the inside and get the stock laid out ready for trading on Saturday.

Laying out the stock.

Laying out the stock.

 

Looking good and ready to trade.

Looking good and ready to trade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vulcan Village and motorhome.

The Vulcan Village and motorhome.

A chilly but sunny start to Saturday and with the gates opening at 9am we were all ready to go in plenty of time. Dunsfold were hoping for a really busy weekend with a number of ‘star turns’, including the worlds only two flying Lancaster’s, the usual BBMF ‘Thumper’ and the visiting Canadian ‘Vera’, the worlds only flying Vulcan, our XH558, and on Sunday the ever popular Red Arrows. Saturday was a fairly busy day and our new Vulcan Village layout worked well. Vulcan arrived with an escort of three rather small jet aircraft, the Gnat display team from North Weald. Sunday was packed and for the first time the organisers had to stop selling tickets on the gate and turn away anyone without prepaid tickets. We heard that the traffic jams went on for miles as thousands of people tried to get onto the airfield.

Vulcan and small friends silhouetted against a lovely sky.

Vulcan and small friends silhouetted against a lovely sky.

Vulcan and Gnats.

Vulcan and Gnats.

"Don't look over your shoulder, there's something rather large behind you".

“Don’t look over your shoulder, there’s something rather large behind you”.

Vulcan with her little friends.

Vulcan with her little friends.

Flying the Canadian flag for their Lancaster as she arrives with 'our' Lanc.

Flying the Canadian flag for their Lancaster as she arrives with ‘our’ Lanc.

Bomber sisters, BBMF Lancaster 'Thumper' leads the Canadian Lanc 'Vera'.

Bomber sisters, BBMF Lancaster ‘Thumper’ leads the Canadian Lanc ‘Vera’.

'Vera'.

‘Vera’.

RAF and Candian flags flying above the motorhome in support of both bombers.

RAF and Candian flags flying above the motorhome in support of both bombers.

Formation of D Day aircraft.

Formation of D Day aircraft.

Spitfire and Mustang in close formation.

Spitfire and Mustang in close formation.

Mustang roll.

Mustang roll.

The Red Arrows arrive.

The Red Arrows arrive.

The Reds.

The Reds.

Starburst.

Starburst.

Break, break, GO.

Break, break, GO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the time the show closed on Sunday evening we were all pretty exhausted but then the stock had to be packed away, banners and flag poles taken down and the tents dismantled and carefully packed away and loaded for the trip back to base in Leicestershire. It was well after midnight when some of the volunteers got home but for us it was just a matter of climbing into the motorhome, opening a beer and popping the pizza into the oven. We spent a third peaceful night on the airfield rather than have to drive a long distance in a state of near exhaustion.

 

This is what happens to your shoes after working in the Vulcan Village-totally knackered.

This is what happens to your shoes after working in the Vulcan Village-totally knackered.

On Monday morning, as Dunsfold was slowly returned to normal, we drove south to spend a few days close to Chichester Harbour on a small but perfectly formed C&CC Certified Site. The weather had changed from the sunshine we had enjoyed over the weekend into rain that became heavier the further south we went. Fortunately the grassy site was firm and our four ton van didn’t sink in.

The weather stayed ‘iffy’ for the next few days so our usual days of walks around the shoreline, sunbathing and barbecues turned into reading or just sitting inside the motorhome relaxing. Even so, we still enjoyed our stay at Cobwebs with its pleasant views over fields and the peace and quiet that comes from being well away from busy roads.

By Friday morning we were ready to do it all again as we left Cobwebs to head east to Shoreham for the RAFA Airshow.

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