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Historic aerodrome joins forces with new Southend airshow
10:00am Monday 9th September 2013 in Echo News
AN aerodrome which specialises in military aircraft is to play a key role in the new Southend airshow, it has been revealed.
Organisers behind a bid to bring back the iconic show have announced Russell Savory from Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome will join the Echo-backed Southend Airshow and Military Festival 2014.
If all goes to plan, the show, which is planned for next September, will commemorate the First World War by making it a major feature of the event. Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome was a front line Aerodrome and home to the 37 Home Defence Squadron. It was abandoned in 1919.
In 2009 it was purchased and a restoration programme began to bring the site to back to its former glory .
The partnership with the aerodrome, based near Maldon, will provide the Southend Airshow and Military Festival with airstrips, facilities and entertainment to pilots of aircraft from the Great War over the weekend of the show.
With access to a grass airfield secured, the airshow will now be able to feature a wider range of First World War aircraft that are only capable of landing on grass runways. Mr Savory, a leading voices in the fight to save WW1 heritages sites, is joining the festival team as WWI operations director and will lead World War One activities for the event.
He said: “I’m very pleased to be given the opportunity to be involved with it all by looking after the Great War Section. Having these aircraft visiting Stow at this special time, being the centenary of the Great War, will be a great honour.
“I am sure the Southend & Military Festival has a great future.”
Airshow organiser, Thomas Curtis said: “We are incredibly excited about Russell joining the team, his work on restoring Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome has been truly outstanding and we know that his expertise in the area will make our WW1 activities something the entire county can be proud of.”
Colleague, John Delaney added: “One of the driving forces behind our efforts to bring back the Airshow combined with a celebration of our military has been the desire to educate younger generations about our history and the bravery of our military both then and now.
“We wanted to showcase and commemorate the 100th anniversary of WW1 within our event so I am delighted to have forged such a close relationship with Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome enabling us to include a significant WWI tribute with air and ground displays within our event.”
This year’s Southend Airshow was cancelled after the council said it could no longer afford to pay £130,000 to run it, due to cuts it needed to introduce.
The Echo launched a campaign to support Mr Curtis, 29, from Honiton Road, Southend, and Mr Delaney, 53, of Chester-field Crescent, Eastwood in their efforts to bring back the show, which draws crowds from across Essex.
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