In August 2011, the 70th Anniversary of the opening of RAF Harrowbeer was celebrated over the weekend of the 15th & 16th August. This spectacular event was a one-off, with its flying displays from the Royal Naval Historic Flight, RAF Search & Rescue and of course the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
So many people enjoyed that event (about 15,000) that we have been bombarded with 'When are you going to do it again?' questions ever since.
The 1940s event is set to run over the same weekend in August and will be a ground-based 1940s themed show. Because of the huge costs involved, it is not planned to have any major flying displays at this time.
Entrance and parking will always be free at the event as it is not permitted to charge for these on 'common land' which is what the airfield stands on. As there is a considerable cost involved with putting on an event like this, we ask all visitors to show their appreciation by making a donation on the day in one of the many 'buckets' which will be around, or in advance to one of the organising groups. Any surplus monies will be held over for expenses in future years.
We hope to be able to repeat the event in 2015 which will then lead us into 2016, when we hope to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the airfield.
Putting on the Anniversary event took about two years planning and needed about £15,000 to be raised to pay for all the flying displays, attractions and other ancillary items needed for such an event. Clearly, to do that every year would be nigh on impossible for a small team of volunteers.
The Harrowbeer Archives at Knightstone Tea Rooms have, for a number of years, held successful weekend events over Bank Holiday weekends and the like, (even these take time and volunteers to organise and put on). The Harrowbeer Interest Group have opened the restored Dispersal Bay for these events and also on other occasions.
All this developed into the idea for the 1940s Event, which would be held annually on the weekend nearest to the 15th August, which is the official opening date of RAF Harrowbeer.
The 2013 event was ground based, with vintage vehicles, displays, and the star attraction of the replica MkIX Spitfire. If sufficient funds are raised we will expand attempt to expand the event over the coming years. So if you attend our 1940s event, please look out for our collection buckets and give generously.
Buckland Food Growers will be putting on a 'Dig for Victory' display and we will have the Vintage Garden Machinery back again.
The Robey Trust will be bringing a steam engine and steam roller to the event! Trips around the airfield will be available during the day.
"The Spitfire Experience"
Bookings are now being taken for your opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a replica Spitfire and fire up its 27 litre Merlin engine!
Tavistock & District Ring & Ride will also be providing an audio tour of the airfield during the afternoon.
"Sparkles & Spitfires"
A 1930s/1940s themed Dinner Dance at the Moorland Garden Hotel, to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of their opening and the 73rd Anniversary of the opening of RAF Harrowbeer.
Tickets on sale now! Please contact the Moorland Garden Hotel for full details and to book your places.