Despite the absence of the famous Red Arrows, spectators at this year’s Biggin Hill Festival of Flight were well entertained with an impressive line-up of displays, while the Airport paid homage to the WWII pilots and the brave men and women supporting them on the ground, with a Vintage Village at the heart of the festival showground.
The Chartwell Cancer Trust hosted their magnificent VIP Hospitality Marquee once again, on Saturday 17th August. The weather forecast was not good but we prayed for no rain. Our prayers were answered; the day was dry, with more sunshine than expected, enabling our guests to enjoy the day both in the marquee and outside in the private garden area.
This was the 6th air festival since the air shows at Biggin Hill restarted in 2014, and retained the two-day format introduced in 2017. The first display announced was the Breitling Jet Team, returning to Biggin Hill for the first time since 2006 after their impressive return to the UK skies at Bournemouth in 2018. Mike Ling also returned to Biggin Hill, not as Red 10 but as a pilot for The Blades. Also flying was the Royal Jordanian Falcons flying their four Extra 330LX aircraft.
The Royal Air Force was very supportive. Some guests were disappointed that the Red Arrows were absent, but the very noisy and equally popular Typhoon was there, along with the Tucano in its final year of service with the RAF before being replaced. Other attractions included the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with a ‘full set’ with the Lancaster, a Hurricane, a Spitfire and the Dakota all on the flying schedule. Two more Dakotas were also displayed in the 75th Anniversary year of the Normandy landings in which the type had such an important role. Inside the marquee The CCT VIP guests enjoyed a welcome glass of ‘fizz’ followed by a day of delicious dining, courtesy of Fayre Do’s, who supplied breakfast croissants on arrival, a superb choice of lunch dishes and puddings, and a scrumptious tea of sandwiches and cakes later in the afternoon, all washed down with tea, coffee or soft drinks. A ‘pay bar’ was available for those who wanted something stronger! For the younger guests, there was a special BBQ just outside the marquee.
As well as enjoying the air displays and rest of the air show entertainment, VIP guests could participate in The CCT’s Silent Auction and Mobile Phone raffle, and take advantage of the free VIP parking and posh loos! This year the Airport also gave us permission to bucket collect around the show on both days. Thank you to CCT’s Michelle Simpson for coordinating this with a team of amazing volunteers who were up there all day representing and raising additional funds for the charity. Michelle also had the opportunity to talk about The CCT on the main commentary Tannoy on both days. On the day, a total of £12,600 was raised from ticket sales, the Silent Auction and Mobile Phone raffle, and from the CCT stand and bucket collections. Well done everyone! We would like to give a huge Thank You to all our volunteers and The CCT team, who gave up their time to help make the day a big success, and thank you to all those who donated prizes for the Silent Auction – your amazing generosity is greatly appreciated.
Special thanks also to: Colin Hitchins and Hannah Gray for allowing us to host our VIP Event Andrew and Elaine Snelgrove, and Rachael Wallis for all her hard work and decorating the tent so superbly Fayre Do’s for the stunning catering Flowers by Georgia for supplying the amazing fishbowl decorations Club Langley for running the ‘pay bar’ and Fizz Reception.