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Monday, 24 June 2013

Wet and Windy Old Buckenham Airshow

This weekend we had planned to be at Old Buckenham Airshow, with some of our group camping from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. A fair bit of planning and food preparation went into this as we intended to celebrate a "milestone" birthday of one of our Club Triumph members with a barbie on the Saturday night, with other members turning up for the birthday bash, and then to display cars on Sunday. On arrival we found that we where meant to camp in an agricultural field at the far end of the runway, this was cut to about 6 inches, not ideal camping ground.
Not the best ground to pitch a tent.
Now I don't normally knock the people who organise shows, as I know they are usually volunteers for a cause/organisation, however this was so badly arranged they need to learn a few lessons.
Due to the weather the field was wet, so walking anywhere in 6 inches of grass is going to soak your footwear and trouser bottoms, you need to cut it shorter or hold it on proper smooth ground!
Next, if you are going to provide showers, don't put them a good 1/4 mile away after a tramp through a field, and even more important, don't put the b---y bogs where we have to spend 10 minutes walking there, they where b---y miles away.
Anyway, Friday afternoon and evening where quite pleasant, we had the sun, we had the Pimm's and the Barbie, (not the birthday barbie) and the moon was the largest it will be this year so even after sunset it was still lightish.
Things started to wrong early Saturday morning, firstly the weather took a turn, we where woken when the wind got up around 6-30am with the Gazebo flapping about and at a crazy angle, then it started to hammer down. We managed to get ourselves a cooked breakfast by hanging on to the Gazebo whilst the girls did the cooking under it. After breakfast, upon dismantling the Gazebo we found the plastic joints where cracked and poles bent so that's for the bin.
Then we parked the cars in the show area, we had booked for 10 cars on the Sunday but found the marked out space only big enough for 4 to 6 cars.
In total there was only about 30 classics to be seen that day, the rest of the show area was also very poor with a real lack of things to see and do, relying on weather dependant flying to keep people amused, not as billed when we agreed to attend this show.
On the Saturday there was very little flying, the weather had something to do with this, Pitts Specials provided a small aerobatic display, but nothing else seemed to have been organised for the Saturday.
Our small car area with some of the few stalls.
Car on the right is an early Triumph Dolomite.
Triumph Gloria and Triumph Super 10.
Only other things of interest where Radio Controlled
planes, only the smaller ones where risked in flight
due to the wind.
By now the wind was reported as gusting at up to 35mph, the rain was on and off and sometimes heavy, we had looked at everything and so we retired to the tents for lunch.
Shortly after 2pm there was a sudden squall with heavy rain and hailstones, then an absolute gust of wind which totally blew in our large, modern tent, forcing us to hang on to the tent, one of our other members tents was completely flattened. This was the final straw, with no sign of any improvement in the forecast we all decided to de-camp.
So we all packed up, and drove to Alburgh to set up the barbie under the car porch and eat inside in the warmth. Thanks to K and S for the use of their home and to everyone who provided food and drink.
Today at work someone who has a plane at Old Buckenham told me the wind was gusting at 45mph on Saturday afternoon and into the evening, and Sunday was only slightly better so we took the right decision.

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