Archive for August, 2008

Air Museum Volunteer is Regional Winner and Finalist for National Award

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

War veteran and long-serving volunteer at the Yorkshire Air Museum, George Martin, has become a Regional Winner and National Finalist in the Nationwide Community & Heritage Awards. Organised as a partnership between the Nationwide Building Society and the Heritage Lottery Fund, these awards recognise outstanding individual contributions to the nation’s heritage and community.One of three regional winners, George will be heading to the Tower of London on November 11th to fly the flag for the Yorkshire Air Museum at a glittering ceremony, where the national winners will be announced.

Now aged 88, having been born in Bradford on 28/8/1920, George has been coming to the Yorkshire Air Museum for the past 25 years as a volunteer. Along with a group of about 12 others, mostly from the York Air Gunners Association, he started work restoring the aircraft gun turrets and then creating the unique Air Gunners Room exhibition at the Museum. Until recently, George attended the Museum at least twice a week, but, as he is no longer able to drive, he now comes over twice a month from his home in Harrogate, when friends or family can bring him.

It is in recognition of this service and George’s extraordinary ability to talk to people about his experiences as an Air Gunner and Wireless Operator that the Museum put forward the nomination for these prestigious awards. The Museum receives many letters and comments from people who have enjoyed meeting George in the emotive surrounding of the Air Gunners Room. It is a rare gift to be able to recount often harrowing experiences in such an open, unassuming, but completely engaging manner.

Museum spokesman, Ian Richardson, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled that George Martin has been selected as a Regional Winner and Finalist in the Community and Heritage Awards. He has entertained literally thousands of visitors with his recollections over the years, and has enthralled many school groups. He nearly gave his life in service of his country and has continued to give of himself over a lifetime. We wish him every success and hope he may become a national winner – he certainly deserves it!”

George volunteered for the RAF in 1940 at Blackpool and after training was attached to 199 Squadron at Ingham, Lincolnshire, on Wellington Bombers as a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner. Returning from his 23rd mission on 23rd May 1943, over Dortmund, George’s aircraft was hit by flak and he was badly injured by shrapnel and burns and lost his thumb on one hand. Remarkably, the aircraft made it back to base, and George was hospitalised. His crew went out two nights later, and never returned.


Red Arrows Zoom in over Eastbourne Town

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Crowd favourite the Red Arrows are getting ready to zoom over Eastbourne town centre next week before dazzling spectators with their aerobatic formations at Airbourne, the world’s biggest seafront airshow.This year the iconic Red Arrows are set to whizz through the skies above Eastbourne town with a breathtaking arrival in Big Arrow formation before performing in the seafront skies. Unlike recent years where the famous diamond-9 have flown in from opposite directions along the coast, 2008 will see the team surprise spectators as they soar directly overhead into a drilled routine of tight formation aerobatics and synchronised manoeuvres.

Eastbourne Borough Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Cllr Steve Wallis said “We are extremely pleased to welcome back the Red Arrows for 2008 and their spectacular arrival straight over spectators’ heads will really give visitors something to look out for. The line up for 2008 is very impressive and we have a host of displays; from the Tutor, Typhoon, Hawk and Tucano celebrating 90 years of the RAF to the bold team of Guinot Wingwalkers. Plus there is plenty of action on the ground too with a brand new free-running team all the way from Holland.”

The Red Arrows are set to impress spectators as they close the show at 4.50pm on Friday, and then kick off the flying action on Saturday and Sunday with displays scheduled for 1pm.

Also joining them in the skies over Eastbourne seafront during the four day airshow are The Tigers who’ll drop onto Eastbourne beach with their smoke-trailing parachute formations. Plus other appearances include The Blades, RAF Chinook, Mustang, Spitfire and a special fly over from the Plane Sailing Catalina who hasn’t displayed at Airbourne for over five years.

Visitors on the ground will be able to watch arena demonstrations from the Essex Dog Display Team as they leap through hoops of fire and can cheer on the Go Fast Parkour Team who are set to make an impact with their energetic free-running.

The return of the Go Fast jet pack man sees a brave performer use only his engine-powered backpack to lift off, while the RAF Swing Wing Band provide a musical sound to yesteryear as they continue their tradition of touring seaside resorts.

Tickets to Airbourne are still on sale and at only £5 per person per day, airshow fans can enjoy the best views and guarantee their position at the forefront of all the flying and arena action.

Available online from, over the counter at Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre and from the Box Office on 01323 412000, Airbourne enthusiasts are encouraged to book their tickets now.

The airshow kicks off next Thursday 14 August and a brand new Airbourne souvenir magazine is on sale now from Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre and containing all the flying and display times, plus special features, photographs and interviews.

For more information on Airbourne telephone 0871 663 0031 or visit or

Transform your Trash at Airbourne Airshow

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Visitors can Go Green at the world’s biggest seafront airshow as artist, David Kefford invites spectators to recycle their rubbish and transform a piece of aviation memorabilia into a modern day sculpture.This year, visitors to Eastbourne seafront airshow, Airbourne, will be able to do more than just watch planes dazzle in the skies overhead. Airshow fans are being invited to do their bit for the environment during the four day event and instead of binning their used cans, water bottles and cardboard; they can drop their rubbish off at the art sculpture point on the Wish Tower Slopes to provide materials to build the recycled sculpture.

Eastbourne Borough Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Cllr Steve Wallis said “I am very excited about this unusual art project taking place at Airbourne. It is something completely different and totally new for the airshow and with David building the sculpture over all four days; visitors will literally see the transformation before their eyes. Judging by some of David’s previous recycled projects, the change promises to be pretty spectacular.”

From cardboard boxes to drink cans, from bubble wrap to water bottles, leaflets and cartons, David will work with just about any materials. With his starting base, David employs a unique and lively technique to build the sculpture and has previously transformed a saloon car and traditional black cab.

From 14-17 August 2008, David will work on his most ambitious challenge yet – transforming a plane tail unit. With a team of volunteers, a hands-on approach will use packaging tape, cable ties and cord to bind the objects together as the plane unit becomes virtually unrecognisable by the end of the four days.

David Kefford is looking forward to working on the Airbourne sculpture: “I really wanted to use a section of a real airplane as the basis to the project to provide a ‘tangible’ connection and context to the event. Visiting Duxford to select my starting point provided plenty of inspiration and I can’t wait to start building the sculpture.”

With bumper flying displays including the Red Arrows, Catalina and Guinot Wingwalkers, brand new arena attractions from the Go Fast Parkour group and Essex Dog Display team, and Bandstand evening entertainment over all four nights, the addition of the novel recycling project means there really is something for everyone at Airbourne this summer.

For further information on Airbourne visit or or telephone 0871 663 0031.

POTY2008 – Theme 7 – The Public

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Theme 7 “The Public” is now closed and all votes are in. I have had to call in one of my regular Airscene judges as I have been unable to make contact with the planned judge since last week,As this is an aviation photography competition; the themes were picked to try and reflect all aspects of aviation, and I must confess to being a little disappointed that all entries this month were taken at airshows when the theme could have been more widely interpreted.

Despite this there were some outstanding entries, which is evident from the fact that no 2 judges had the same favourites. There could be only one winner though, and this month Robert Scott from Ipswich grabs the prize, after netting a total of 31 points with his entry.

Dean Feltimo almost scooped up his 3rd prize in this competition with 30 points, whilst Ian Hews and Simon Thomas came in joint 3rd with 23 points.

The leaderboard now stands as follows:

Neil Darby 144 points

Gergely Grosz 119 points

Dean Feltimo 114 points

Simon Thomas 114 points

With 108 points still up for grabs over the next 3 themes anything can happen, however it will require a special effort to grab the top slot from Neil Darby who has been in the top 3 four times, and scored at least 10 points in each theme so far – talk about consistency!

Another Pee Wee Pixel Pocket Rocket up for grabs this month courtesy of Snapperstuff in them 8 “Aerobatics”, so even if you are new to the competition and cant get to the prize positions, why not try and take this prize away from the leaders? I look forward to your entries…


Last Chance to BOGOF at Airbourne

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Fans of the biggest seafront airshow in the world have just a few days left to redeem their Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) vouchers slashing Airbourne entry to just £2.50 per person.The offer printed exclusively in Eastbourne Herald and Gazette since mid June, ends this Friday 8 August and all vouchers must be redeemed by midnight on Friday, either online at, over the counter at Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre or from the Box Office on 01323 412000. With standard tickets priced at £5 per person per day, airshow enthusiasts are being encouraged to make the most of the discount with the Red Arrows, Guinot Wingwalkers, Plane Sailing Catalina and much, much more set to perform at this year’s Airbourne.

Eastbourne Borough Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Cllr Steve Wallis said “Eager Airbourne spectators need to make the most of the discount while it lasts as this year’s airshow is shaping up to be the best yet with a real variety of displays and brand new exciting arena action. The offer ends this Friday but with plenty of ways to book tickets, there is no excuse for missing out this summer. Thousands of tickets have already been sold so fans that have yet to purchase tickets are urged to do so.”

The Red Arrows are set to perform on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at this year’s airshow when it returns from 14-17 August, with a bumper line up of flying displays scheduled over all four days providing nearly 25 hours of spectacular aerobatic action.

A full round up of flying times will be available in the new look official Airbourne glossy souvenir magazine, which goes on sale this Friday. Featuring colourful photos, exclusive interviews and fantastic competitions, Airbourne fans can buy copies in advance from the Tourist Information Centre or on the day from programme sellers along the seafront.

For those that don’t make it in time for the BOGOF ticket offer, Airbourne tickets will still be available from the Tourist Information Centre and Box Office in the week leading up to the event, as well as on the day from ticket entries located along the seafront priced at £5 per person per day. No BOGOF vouchers can be redeemed on the day of the airshow.

Ticket entrances will be located at gates 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 14, 18, 21 and 22 along the seafront during the airshow and tickets will also be available from the Five Acre Field Park and Ride.

For more information and Airbourne location maps visit or telephone 0871 663 0031.