This year just keeps on kicking us in the teeth - the latest disappointment being the cancellation of Duxford’s Battle Of Britain airshow which was due to be happening this weekend. Following the introduction of the Government’s new “Rule Of Six” the organising team decided it was no longer logistically possible, and it was cancelled last Friday. The cancellation was made even more poignant as this week saw Battle Of Britain day - all the more meaningful with this year being the 80th anniversary of the Battle. There were so many grand plans for the anniversary most of which have, by necessity, been scrapped. On VE Day alone the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight had over 100 flypasts planned - it would have been the busiest day ever for the flight until Covid came along and rendered all the carefully crafted plans redundant.
Sad as the Duxford cancellation is, there IS no choice. I for one was beginning to get a bit twitchy about how they planned to make it possible, and whether the majority really would take any notice of requests to social distance. No clear information had been provided giving reassurance on this, which didn’t help. Rumour was that people were going to be corralled into number-limited compounds, meaning that those who had bought tickets individually intending to meet up with friends on the day would end up standing alone - not really the way most of us plan to visit an airshow the size of Duxford. That IS just rumour though, we may never know what actually was planned. It is fair to say though that to have gone ahead with the show and been responsible for a Coronavirus outbreak which could have lead to deaths both among those attending and in the local area would have been grossly irresponsible, and as the organisers have to be applauded for taking the decision that they did. The majority are accepting of this if social media is anything to go on, with only a tiny handful of negative reactions, and those mostly from those who are blatant Covid-deniers (and probably flat-earthers, as well!) and so can be safely ignored as having nothing worthwhile to say. Most agree that it’s better to be safe.
I now have one final shot at actually seeing an airshow this year with the planned show at Headcorn in a couple of weeks time. Smaller than most shows, they have also limited numbers, and I understand have plans in place that will hopefully enable it to go ahead although I won’t be too hopeful until I’m actually on the airfield! My fingers are crossed though - it would be great to see some more warbirds flying this year!