My wife and I went to Lincolnshire for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Members Celebration which I have to say was not quite the select event I had imagined when getting tickets.
We stayed at a hotel in Woodhall Spa which is always nice as it was where the Dam Busters were based during the war and has a memorial to them in the high road.
Having filled the car before the real panic buying of petrol we decided to take a chance hoping that we could fill up whilst away and have enough to get home which we managed quite easily as there was nowhere near the panic up north than down south.
The BBMF is based at RAF Coningsby and when we arrived the next day there was a queue a mile long waiting to get into the base but as we had come quite a distance we thought we had better give it a go and see how things went.
I should have realised when reading the information about bringing your own chairs that the enclosure was not going to be a small selective bunch of people and in fact was just a fenced off area full of people, most of whom seemed as if they had dressed for a day on the beach so my wife and I looked a tad over dressed.
The day though started well with the Lancaster bomber starting up and taking off and disappearing into the distance and even better coming back some time later flying over our enclosure when landing, at this time we had no idea where it went during its flight.
Having sat there for some hours with absolutely nothing happening we decided to leave and drove to Sywell Aerodrome where we knew there was an event called Pistons and Props taking place and found a parking place in the Aviator Hotel car park.
The Aviator Hotel is a wonderful Art Deco building and one of our favourite places to stay so we headed to the bar and got a sandwich and a drink when all of a sudden the distinctive sound of a Merlin engine was heard and on dashing outside there was a rather good air display taking place and putting two and two together we realised where the planes from BBMF were going when they took off from RAF Coningsby.
We did say before the Spitfire arrived that next year we should stay at the Aviator Hotel and go to the Pistons and Props event but once you throw the free air show into the mix as well, it’s a no brainer as they say.
When we left we got enough petrol to get home as the situation up north was still fairly good with no real queues and arrived home with nearly a quarter of a tank which doesn’t go very far in a Bentley Arnage so I think we will be curtailing any unnecessary driving until everyone stops panic buying and we get back to normal.
Such events would be great if it wasn’t for all the pesky tourists!