A Royal day out at Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome – by CEO Ian Flint
It was wonderful to welcome The Duke of Gloucester to our World War 1 Aerodrome near Maldon last week. He was genuinely interested in the work of our fantastic volunteers – who toiled almost around the clock to get our new museum ready for His Royal Highness to open!
New 37 Squadron Museum
Our honorary curator Ivor Dallinger gave The Duke a tour of the museum, which tells the stories of the servicemen of 37 Squadron. The tour overran a little because he was so interested in the displays, he kept stopping when something new caught his eye.
The Duke was fascinated by the historic aircraft on display. After watching our re-creation to mark the centenary of the first casualty evacuation by air, and a flight by a Tiger Moth (unfortunately it was too windy for our World War 1 aircraft to take off), he took an unscheduled visit airside to take a closer look. He also enjoyed our Forward Aid displays – with modern day Royal Army Medical Corps reserves demonstrating their skills alongside Great War medical support enacted by Parsons Period Presentations.
The day was a fitting way to thank our volunteers – instead of serving in our Mess Hall, they were able to savour tea and cake served by students from Colchester Institute who kindly came to help us out.
Wings and Wheels
Our hard-working team hasn’t had time to stop as we’re now counting down the days to our first Essex family day out of 2017. On Sunday (21 May) our WW1 Aerodrome near Maldon will echo to the roar of engines as we celebrate vintage and classic vehicles for land and air.
Our first Wings and Wheels event will be a great day out for adults and children with the world’s fastest road car, a Bugatti Veyron, among dozens of classic cars, coaches, motorcycles and military vehicles on display. Look out for some iconic movie cars too.
We’ve got our fingers crossed for good flying weather as there’ll be a great range of historic aircraft hoping to take to the skies. And we’ll be joined by our old friends the Turbulent Display Team who always thrill the crowds when they fly under our ‘goalposts’ less than 15 feet off the ground.
Day for Dads
For those looking for a day out in Essex with a difference for Father’s Day, get our special Day for Dads in your diary for 18 June. It’s a day that’s close to my heart, and I’m working with the team to offer an exciting programme of hands-on activities that Dads will love, like changing the tyre on a WW1 vehicle and trying out a WW1 flight simulator. Keep your eye out for more details, I can promise your dad or granddad an amazing day.