Jul Sunday 5 2015
For the last five years the team has accepted the kind invitation by City Airport & Heliport Manchester (Barton) to display at their ever increasingly popular Aviation and Family Fun Day Events.
This year City Airport and Heliport decided to reintroduce the ‘Manchester Airshow,’ last held at what was then Barton Aerodrome in 1994.
Once again this year, with thanks to Nick Duriez, Operations Manager and Mark Knowles Airfield Duty Manager at City Airport and Heliport, we were invited to attend within the ‘Emergency Services’ display area.
Meeting at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ the team departed at 08.15hrs arriving at City Airport for 08.45hrs (no motorway traffic jams / no roadworks – amazing)
We quickly set up in the excellent space allocated to us right by the entrance point for visitors, positioning our four Land Rover Defender Mountain Rescue Ambulances, our Ford Transit Crewbus, Incident Control Vehicle and SAR Boat, along with the entire contents of our Land Rover ‘Bolton Mobile 4’ put out on display.
Fifteen team Call Out list members attended alongside Support Group members Iain Clarkson and Sarah Hindle.
Besides the airshow participants, visiting and based aircraft on display to see, there were a myriad of other displays and attractions for all the family to enjoy, including a large funfair.
The military was present with RAF, Army and Royal Navy stands, plus Air Cadets, Sea Cadets and Army Cadets.
Emergency and voluntary services present included our colleagues and friends from North West 4×4 Response (huge thanks for moving your display to allow us more display space, it was very appreciated), GMFRS, GMP Traffic (and the very loud two tones of the unmarked car on display), North West Air Ambulance Charity, Maritime Volunteer Service – Manchester, and a very large Fire Appliance in the shape of an Oshkosh Global Striker 6×6 Fire Appliance from Manchester Airport (One of six in service since 2014 at Manchester Airport)
A huge number of visitors to the Airshow were present, and we gave demonstrations of CPR, Mountain Rescue Stretcher carries to excited children, and how to use our vacuum splints.
Many visitors to our display knew little of our work in the local community, whilst others knew a lot about our work n the local area.
Barry Pelmore and Peter Hyde from our friends at Oldham MRT were welcome visitors, and chatted about times past and present with our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE.
Peter Hyde very kindly took it upon himself to go and see the Airshow Commentator Jason King, to ask that he mention the Bolton MRT display, even supplying Jason King with a script – thanks Peter for your support.
We also had a visitor in James Crossley, the brother of former team call out list member Eddy Crossley (who retired from the team in 2004)
James summited Mount Kenya on 4th August 2004, raising £223.50p for the team in the process and also donating a similar amount to a local Cancer Care Charity (Please see website ‘News’ reports dated Saturday 21st August and Thursday 23rd September 2004)
The Airshow flying display opened with model aircraft – some quite large in scale! – from Bury Model Aircraft Club, with a BAC Strikemaster Mk 82A based at Hawarden Airfield commencing the full size aircraft display.
Aerobatic acts included the Pitts S1.S Special, Extra 260, the Old Buckers Bucker Jungmans, Pitts S2S, and the somehat slower speeds of a Gyro Rotorsport Calidus gyroplane.
A genuine Vietnam war veteran, in the guise of a Bell Huey UH-1H helicopter brought to the Airshow its distinctive two blade rotor sound, equally distinctive was the wokka wokka sound of the twin rotor RAF Chinook helicopter, which gave a superb display routine.
G-PIGY a unique shaped Short SC7 Skyvan ably demonstrated its STOL capabilities, whilst the stars of the Airshow had to be the RAF Battle of Britain Hurricane and Spitfire display – sparking much debate between our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE – supporting the Hawker Hurricane, and Michael Wakerley – the Supermarine Spitfire is better!
The City Airport and Heliport residents NWAA Helimed 72 and NPAS 21 Helicopters were scrambled to a number of operational incidents during the day, adding another non-display element to the day as they transited the Airport airspace en route to their operational deployments.
Around 15.00hrs increasingly darkening skies replaced the sunshine, with a chill wind replacing the warm temperatures, and just as forecasted heavy and persistent rain immediately scattered everyone present as all sought to take whatever shelter could be found.
Thankfully with a keen weather eye, we had just cleared away all out team kit display so we escaped getting everything thoroughly soaked.
Shortly after this and mindful of the developing traffic jams we left the Airport, kindly being granted a priority exit by the show staff.
Thanks to the kindness of visitors to our display we raised £49.72p in public donations, with a great many offers of future support.