As an aviation group we do try and maintain strong contacts with other aviation groups and this year we attended the Ulster Flying Club’s Open Day on Sunday 23rd July. Although there weren’t that many visiting aircraft the arrival of a beautiful Miles Gemini from Breighton in Yorkshire helped make the day. Once again the weather was superb and this allowed us to take the Ferguson out for its first public appearance.
And what an impression it made, not only did we have the aircraft there but its pilot our member William McMinn also appeared and spent some time talking with the public. The day itself seemed to be a tremendous success and all credit must go to the UFC organising committee, who I am told are considering something bigger and better next year.
Our final outing for the month on the 29th was to the GI Jive Festival in Kilkeel which is organised annually by the Kilkeel Development Association (KDA). Last year you may remember we couldn’t attend due to the fact that we couldn’t get anyone to tow the Spitfire,
part of the reason why we bought our own van. This year we were determined to get there and get there we did. Given centre-stage in the whole arena, it was another great day out for the Spitfire team. Lots of kids, including big ones in the Spitfire, meeting old friends
and making quite a few new ones! Let’s hope the KDA get the funding and go-ahead for next year.
Next outing for the events team is a big one, the Festival of Flight at Newcastle on Saturday 5th August. We intend taking the Spitfire, Alouette, rear gun turret, ejection seat and hopefully the Ferguson (subject to weather) together with our marquee and shop. We are always looking for volunteers for these big events so please get in touch if you’re interested. Everything bar the Ferguson will be taken down on the Friday afternoon (August 4th) and brought back on the Saturday evening.
Until next month....onwards and upwards.
Whilst July is normally regarded as a holiday month in Northern Ireland the Society was kept extremely busy fulfilling attendances at outdoor events and looking after visitors at the hangar. Friday 14th saw us transport the Spitfire to Glenarm for the two-day Dalriada Festival (15/16th) and then return the aircraft back to Long Kesh on Monday 17th. Once again the weather held good for us apart from a torrential thunderstorm which had everyone scurrying for cover. Underneath the Spitfire wings provided just the spot for our volunteers! This festival is one of those places where you can go for a walk and enjoy watching the events; however, the highlight for all of us was by far the ‘wife carrying’ contest, brilliant fun.