The last hurrah – GVFWE

The Great Vintage Flying Weekend had come to be a ‘fixture’ on the UK air show scene, that is until 2008. With the retirement of Terry Booker (Operations Director, and the man responsible for much of the excellent organisation behind the events), the event fell into a kind of stasis. Without an injection of capital, and a permanent new home (GVFWE had been a moveable feast), it was likely that Europe’s premier vintage aviation event would simply cease to exist.

With a great deal of goodwill, and some complex negotiations, it was announced just after Christmas that the event would be moving to Kemble Airfield (EGBP), the former RAF Kemble, which had once been home to the Red Arrows. The home of the highly-regarded Kemble Air Day, the Cotswold airfield had already been used before by GVFWE and was therefore a known quantity in organizational terms.

A major departure from the established pattern would be a one hour flying display to be inserted into the daily programme of events. It was safe to say that everyone involved was really looking forward to a splendid 2009 event.

As an indication of the many different aircraft types which can appear at GVFWE, here is a photograph from the last Hullavington event. You can see examples of the following; Bucker Bu131 Jungmann, Miles M.38 Messenger, Auster AOP 9, Tipsy Belfair, D H 82a Tiger Moth, Chrislea CH3 Super Ace 2, Druine D.31 Turbulent, and Druine D.62B Condor .


The move the Kemble meant that the new ‘owners’ could structure the event as they wish. After a couple of attempts to re-construct the old format, they have, apparantly, decided to discard much of what GVFWE had grown to be. It will now revert to what is, virtually, a club fly-in. A sad loss, in my opinion.

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