Midlands Air Festival
Photos by Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography.
The Midlands Air Festival returned to Arbury Hall and Ann Evans went along to enjoy the action.
Crowds descended on Nuneaton’s Arbury Hall over the weekend of 17th – 19th May for the spectacular Midlands Air Festival. Building on the success of last year’s show this fabulous aviation event featured stunning air displays, hot air balloons, after-dark displays and fireworks as well as trade stands, children’s rides and plenty of food and drink stands to keep you refreshed.
Over the weekend visitors were in for a real treat as pilots in aircraft and helicopters took to the sky displaying their flying skills. There were breath-taking manoeuvres, looping the loop, dives and coordinated displays of multiple aircraft, trailing smoke and reaching speeds of 200 mph. As twilight fell, Airborne Pyrotechnics created some amazing visual displays as they painted the night sky with pyrotechnics, multi-coloured lights and fireworks streaming from aircraft wings.
Then came the parachutists as the British Army Red Devils Parachute Regiment bravely jumped from their aircraft to swoop down through the darkness in their LED suits amid a spectacular shower of sparks, enthralling the crowds below.
The inflation of 30 giant hot air balloons, with roaring burners was another spectacular sight, in particular on the Friday evening when they performed a stunning nightglow fire dance all set to music. And finally, to end the evening, came a magnificent fireworks display. On the Saturday and Sunday visitors could watch the mass ascent of the hot air balloons plus more amazing air displays.
The show was also an opportunity for various armed service charities to raise money for their worthy causes. Help for Heroes and the Royal Air Forces Association being two, along with other charities such as Cancer Support and Guide Dogs for the Blind.
There was a nice relaxed atmosphere to the show over the weekend, with family picnics going on, as well as a few people camping there for the whole event. Music entertainment came in the form of the Hotsie Totsies, singing songs from the 1940s.
As well as the air show, it was a great opportunity to visit Arbury Hall as this historic building and grounds is only open to the public on selected days each year. (Dates are on their website, https://arburyestate.co.uk/ )
Arbury Hall was originally built on the ruins of a 12th century Augustinian Priory. The monastic buildings were demolished, and a new mansion built around 1586 and passed into the ownership of John Newdegate. It stands in 100 acres of lakes, parkland and 18th century landscaped gardens, and has been the home of the Newdegate family for over 400 years.
Arbury Hall is also famous in a literary sense as Mary Ann Evans, better known as the writer George Eliot, was born in 1819 at South Farm on the Arbury Estate, and she has based many of her novels around Arbury Hall and the people who lived there.
For further details of the Midlands Air Festival, visit: http://www.midlandsairfestival.com/
To find out more about Arbury Hall, visit: https://arburyestate.co.uk/