From all I can gather I believe I chose the best day to visit the Revival Meeting this year, for although we even had spells of sunshine, the rain was somewhat intermittent, and the cloud cover lifted allowing aircraft to display. The personal highlight of the flying was to see a Canberra, for this was one of the aircraft I had worked on when in the RAF, and I had always been impressed by the later versions with Triple Starters that had the most stunning rates of climb after only a very short stay on the runway.
I had hoped to be accompanied by a multi-talented all-rounder – photographer, author, blogger, whirlwind PR Lady, and talented organiser, Vanessa Champion, but work proved more powerful than play, and it had always been chancy settling on the Friday, since it is a weekday. I took along a publisher and Rugby photographer at the last moment instead.
The enclosure that provides an excellent view of the exit from the Chicane, was my first vantage point, but I also spent a short time in the grandstand within the enclosure and also on the roof of the Pits. But this was a day where the ever-present threat of rain dictated that shelter be near at hand. I met an interesting American, Harold 'Howie' D. Grant who had a car or two racing there, and he pointed out one of the cars and said he'd be happy to buy some pictures, so I duly obliged, and met up with him a few more times and he introduced me to his charismatic driver. The green car was unusual in that it had four tyres at the rear.
During one of the spells of brightness I met up with Patricia Rayner and Keith Duerden of Image 2 photography; friends of longstanding, since I had first met them when Keith headed up the Photographic Unit of Mobil in Victoria. Keith has a long history of photographing motor racing, having watched and photographed Stirling Moss racing at Goodwood when he was his own mechanic! He has a large collection of black and white photographs from a past era of the sport, and has a website selling his work, and is currently working on the publishing of a book. We all met up at the ‘Earls Court Motor Show’ pastiche and then strolled, chatting to visit the static display of aircraft, where we came across Tracey Curtis-Taylor and Amanda Stretton and the ‘Spirit of Artemis’. Tracey is due to fly solo from Capetown to Goodwood, and a film crew were setting up as we came upon them, and so this offered me a chance to capture some of the proceedings.
On my later return to the trackside I turned round at one stage and there was a favourite TV star of mine just feet away, Honeysuckle Weeks, who has been expertly teamed with Peter Kitchen in ‘Foyle’s War’, I just had to overcome my natural temerity to ask could I take some quick photos, but I could step no further back, so I had to make do with the camera and lens I was holding, the 100-400mm, and do my best to use the wide end, but she was so relaxed and unfazed, that I did get a few shots. I learned a few things she has planned and I mentioned that she was certainly blessed with a beautiful name by her parents. By her side was Peter Sandys-Clarke who it turned out had also had a role in Foyle’s War, but I had to embarrassedly state I did not recognise him, he was very accommodating and accepted my apology with great grace, saying he fully appreciated the reasons for my failure.
I was persuaded to set off early to avoid the imminent rain, which proved to be a good decision as I gather we missed the quagmire that befell those who stayed on till later, and that the following days were severely marred by inclement British weather.