BE2 in flight


New ideas and taking R-I-S-K!!

Publication date: 18.09.19

Hi Folks! Its good to take five minutes to record a few words for you. The Summer is almost over, but that’s not to say things are slowing down. We’ve got so much on, it’s a little dizzying sometimes.


On 14th and 15th September we trialled a new event – the Large Model Air-show. The event featured some of the best pilots from across the country, flying some truly wonderful aircraft. While a new thing for us, Model Flying has occurred on the Aerodrome since the 1970’s until pretty recently. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a newbie to these craft. What an education! Wingspans of up to 2.5m, jet engines…totally brilliant! With National leaders ‘Dawn Patrol’ working with our Air Operations Manager and volunteer team, it was a roaring success – helped along, no doubt, by the gorgeous weather we enjoyed. It generated a great deal of income for the charity, so thank you all for your support.

On Tuesday 17th September, we held our Annual General Meeting. This is something we are required to do as part of our Charity and Business activities, so this year, we decided to make it special. Held on the date of RFC Stow Maries’ inauguration, we invited a number of stakeholders and supporters from across the region to join us for this vital event. The big news is that we have a new Chairman! Peter Martin, who has steered the ship for us for the last 2014, has stepped down.  Peter has helped us through some really challenging times, so we are glad he is not leaving, simply stepping down from the Chair.  I know we are all very grateful for all his hard work.

Barry Dickens has been appointed to replace him. Barry is a retired Air Commodore who has built strong links to the site since 2014. A Chartered Engineer, Barry served in the Royal Air Force for 37 years including in the Falklands Islands and later in the first Gulf War. Barry also worked for BAE Systems helping the company to get more closely involved with the deeper maintenance of RAF combat aircraft on front line bases. Following his time in industry he became his County’s Chairman of SSAFA-the Armed Forces Charity. He is the Chair of his local Parish Council.

Barry has played a significant role in restoring the site and presenting its story to the public. As a Trustee, he has been leading the Curatorial team since 2014, and has seen it grow to 30+ dedicated volunteers. He has forged strong links with the Imperial War Museum and the RAF Museum, and is heavily involved in the site being well on the way to receiving fully accredited museum status. I look forward to working closely with him on the next stage of our journey.

The AGM was also very successful thanks to our keynote speaker. After the Trust had presented its reports and accounts, we had the honour of welcoming Roy Clare to speak. Roy is a wonderfully inspiring professional, and he made some really good points about t our future. Of the many comments in his address (including some very funny anecdotes) I thought I might share one part in particular.

Roy invited us to consider the term ‘Risk’. Having acknowledged that we do not – indeed, cannot – live in a risk-free environment, it is best to embrace it. Better to have the risks you want, and choose, thank those you don’t.

This struck a definite chord with the audience. Roy then explored this point further.

He invited us to consider risk as an acronym:

R – Research. Get the research in! Learn all you can about your site, the people, their stories, all from as many angles and perspectives as you can.

I – Innovate. We must never stop innovating! New ideas, new questions, new approaches. Take a risk! Think big, open your mind to all the creativity you can in the pursuit of success.

S – Sustainability. Do all you can to make Stow sustainable. Financially, of course – but also in regard to the team, the staff, the ecology. Reinvest time and effort to keep the enthusiasm going and it will reward you in a number of ways.

K – Know how. Not just Knowledge, but also knowing who to speak to , and when, to get the right support. Know how to get what you need from the site, the team, the stakeholders. Educate yourself about what is out there for everyone to learn from.

As you can see, inspirational stuff! I know Barry, the Board, the team and myself will be applying this thinking going forward.

Talk soon!

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