The Sywell classic took place over 23rd / 24th September at the Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire and welcomed 15,000 visitors over the 2 days to experience the array of classic cars and aerial displays.
I had been engaged to entertain in the Scarf and Goggle Marquee which was positioned next to a fabulous bar converted from a mobile fire service incident control room.
The event itself is huge and feels more like a festival with such a diverse audience of people from rockabilly to 1940s reenactors. There was various vintage music taking place including the rock and roll band plus Anne Marie Marlow who was performing her show ‘Dusty and Friends’ over in the main bar.
I was to perform 4 sets of 30 minutes across the day of 1940s music which gave Darren and I a bit of time to explore the wonderful vintage market where we met Karen from the Heritage Milliner. It was incredibly windy on the airfield so lucky for me I had my big coat in the car!
The highlight of the day for me was watching the airplane display with ex RAF pilots making the planes dance in the air and equally the wing walkers
Sunday promised to be a nicer day weather wise which is always great news for an outdoor event! Due to this we moved the performance area slightly so I was performing out to the front; the Bar had also put more tables and chairs out today to accommodate for the increased visitor numbers and the better weather.
I was honoured to speak to 2 RAF veterans at different times of the day. Both had been of the RAF post war but the wartime songs held special memories for them. 85-year-old Jim had been a child in Hinckley during the war and had memories of seeing German aircraft over head heading for Birmingham and Coventry. Even with all this going on he still maintained that he would not enjoy being a child / teenager today and relished the freedom and adventure of his childhood. We often think that life is so much easier these days in so many respects and we don’t have to face the atrocities that our families faced during wartime but it goes to show that many happy memories were made.
On the Sunday, I watched the Ariel display in full. The pilots are at the top of their game and I have never seen anything quite so incredible or seen anyone manoeuvre planes in such a way. The team are based at Sywell airfield and practice during the week. I would absolutely love to go up in one!
We also got the opportunity to watch the Wall of Death. I am sure as a child I have seen this but could barely remember. Darren had watched the Guy Martin programme where he broke the record for speed so was keen for us to go and watch. It was spectacular and the rides possess a great deal of skill and nerves of steel – the bikes date back to the 1920s. Whilst en route to the wall of death we bumped in to some of our 1940s friend which was a real treat! They came to see my 3rd set of the day and pulled a crowd in die to their fantastic dancing. I was really really pleased to see everyone and we had a lovely long chat with Martin and Lesley Littlejohn who are just the loveliest people.
The sun shone all day and it was just delightful. A truly splendid day all round.