This year saw the 6th running of the AWC Car Show in conjunction with the Abingdon Air and Country Show at the Abingdon airfield. As in previous years we were supporting the Berks Oxon and Bucks Air Ambulance Charity who this year treated us all to a short display and flypast prior to the main display.
The event this year was thankfully somewhat drier, and for a large open space warmer then last year. Owing to the change of date and subsequent competition from other events and perhaps with memories of last year’s soaking still in mind numbers this year were down but looking around, the quality of cars and turnout was just as good. So despite the setbacks and last minute organisational changes the event went well and over 100 MGs turned out to support the Centre and watch the flying display.
The day started a little overcast but soon brightened up as the cars started to arrive and our final parking area started to fill up with lines of our cars in all of the colours and all of the sizes. The committee started to relax a little, yes, this was going to be a successful day. So everybody settled down, chatted to friends and checked out the competition as you do.
Brian Moylan compiled a selection of MGs showing the history and development of the marque for the public display in the arena. The oldest car this year was a 1928 18/80 Speed Model followed by a 1935 PA and 28 other models spanning the decades. These included an immaculate Magnette saloon, a very well prepared MGC and an MGA with examples of many others up to the last but one MG produced which was an MG TF LE1500 with sat nav, air con and cruise control. Sadly the latest model from the current production line, the MG6, was missing but perhaps next year.
Then the flying display which among many featured the impressive Tigers Parachute display team from the Princess of Wales Regiment who jumped despite the strong, gusting conditions; aerobatic displays followed from the Hawk Trainer based at RAF Valley, the Tucano Trainer from No 1 Flying Training School and a Jet Provost. The Hawk display pilot for the 2011 season is female, Flt Lt Jules Fleming, and having landed at RAF Brize Norton after her display, she returned by road to Abingdon to chat and sign pictures for the crowd.
This was followed by a flypast of an operational C130 Hercules doubtless on duty travelling from RAF Lyneham to some distant land. Thanks to the relaxation of last year’s fixed wing aircraft landing imposition there was also a good static display with tours of a Pembroke.
The best was saved to last with the first public display for 2011 of XH558, the iconic Avro Vulcan operated by VTTS. In the skilful hands of Martin Withers we were treated to the new extended display routine and were entertained by a really impressive demonstration of the features of the aircraft including the bomb bay, air brakes and undercarriage. Two power climbs suitably demonstrated the distinctive Vulcan howl, for many a really nostalgic performance as the last display at Abingdon by XH558 was 21 years ago. A thrilling spectacle of a unique delta wing bomber of the cold war era; long may she continue to fly.
Finally we should remember that these events are put on for the members and they do need a considerable amount of organising so a big thank you to the AWC committee and friends who helped put the Car Show element together. A special thank you goes to our sponsor Manor Garage from Wantage. Another AWC Grand Day Out.
Text: Mike Lamb. Photos: Malcolm Bailey and Mike Lamb.