We're well into the show season now and members have already attended a number of events this year, from small, local village fetes to some of the largest military shows in the UK. Things have been progressing well within the Essex HMVA, despite a considerable set back, (more of which later) and the charity continues to gain interest and members. We have been approached by TV and radio companies to ask if we can support them on various projects or sometimes just for information on a specific item. We continue to have a regular influx of membership enquiries and new members, and many requests to support events not just in the Essex area, but also further afield. We hope to be once again supporting the Chelmsford Industrial Museum in their Open Day in September with a Military vintage wireless display. We are also very excited about working with the Essex Regiment Museum to support and work with them on their future events.
We've had great support as well as lots of public interest for the Maldon and Robin Hood shows and I would like to thank all those who attended. The one thing we noticed was how many people we spoke to who regularly attended the Military and Flying Machines event which was great to hear.
Our members often receive requests for risk assessments when booking into events, and to assist them we have created a generic risk assessment and Health and Safety Statement for our members, which is available, free of charge, for their use.
On a similar vein, it's worth checking that your public liability insurance covers displays or accidents arising from them (as many do not), so, whilst your vehicle may be covered, an incident arising, (for example), from someone tripping over part of your display and injuring themselves may not be. The Essex HMVA has secured cover for this type of incident, and more details can be provided to members on request. Not all vehicle groups do this.
We are now registered with the United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association (UKARA) which means that the Essex HMVA can now approve members who wish to obtain realistic looking Airsoft guns for re-enactment and living history display purposes.
Military and Flying Machines Show 2015
Our 2015 show turned out to be our best yet, I am pleased to say that we had some fantastic feedback. After last year's event we really pulled out all the stops and ironed out some of the bigger issues which had cropped up. This meant that the show seemed to go very smoothly. I want to thank all those involved in whatever way they contributed.
It was gratifying to see so many Living History groups with nearly 80 groups booked in, a record attendance for the event. The arena battles which we hope to improve on worked well with the best battle re-enactments we have so far seen at the show so many thanks to Harold and Luke for setting this up for us, and also for arranging some of the biggest and best living history displays we have ever had. I'm told next year will be even better and plans are already afoot.
The air display had a couple of issues this year, following the fatal crash at Car Fest our Huey pilot (a friend and business partner of the pilot) elected not to fly at the event. A perfectly understandable choice given what happened, and our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. In addition the BBMF had both their Dakota and Hurricane become unserviceable just before the show. Also Dan Griffiths our Spitfire display pilot had crash in another Spitfire at Biggin Hill the week before and suffered minor injuries. This left us in a predicament so at very short notice, after a lot of phone calls and a few meetings with the relevant people, we managed to get the B17 Flying Fortress "Sally B" to display on the Saturday as well as the Sunday - our thanks go out to all the people who helped us do this, it was a significant task and we hope it was appreciated and enjoyed. I have to say the Sally B gave two of the best displays I have ever seen at the show. Fortunately we also managed to arrange for another pilot to fly the Spirit of Kent Spitfire which as usual put on an amazing display.
Vehicle wise the show was well attended, with hundreds of vehicles and some eight tanks in attendance representing the heavier side of the hobby, Thanks to all who came including the Imperial War Museum Friends who bought down the T34.
We are already taking enquiries and bookings from Living History Groups, Vehicles and stalls for next year so thanks for that! We had a couple of comments regarding the price increase this year but please remember our costs rise year on year and a substantial sum has to be paid out for license fees, health and safety and lots of things you don't see. The work that has to be completed for the flying display alone is massive. We are not professionals and we are all unpaid volunteers working for the show any monies made from the show go back into next year's event. Finally a big thank you to all who supported our event and we really hope to see you next year.
As those of you who follow us on Facebook or who have seen our website recently will know two days after the show we had a break in to our storage facility, we lost all six of our quad bikes, one of which was set on fire and destroyed. In addition, all our generators and trailers were also stolen. The Police have been informed; it's fair to say at this stage this may have an impact on our show as the cost of replacement will be substantial, as this equipment had been built up over a nine year period, to lose it all in one go like this was devastating. This is a disappointment in the extreme as next year is our tenth anniversary and we were and are still planning to do something special, however this theft will make it more difficult.
Following an emergency meeting the decision was made to go ahead with the show and somehow make up the shortfall. On request from some of the Facebook followers we have set up a contribution fund for donations to help us raise the money for replacement equipment and our thanks go out to those who have already donated. It is greatly appreciated.
Our attention has already turned to our 2016 event. At our Trustees meeting we decided that due to our original chosen date clashing with other events we would propose that the show committee consider changing the date , the new date was then subsequently agreed. Our show in 2016 will therefore be on 7th and 8th September 2016 (a week earlier than originally advertised). Some of our team have already we have made some promising progress for the 2016 show. We won't spoil some great surprises yet but we hope that our 10th anniversary show will be out best ever by far!
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Trevor Mclaren to our events team as a co-opted member. He will be our Military Liaison Officer and will assist us with the show and also with other Essex HMVA interactions as required. He has already been working alongside other members of the show team and given invaluable assistance.
Currently the Barn is full, however there may be some movement in the near future, so if you have an interest in storing your vehicle there, please let us know.