Throckmorton airfield was built in 1940 at the beginning of World War II and became home to No. 23 Operational Training Unit equipped with Wellingtonbombers. It then became home to No.1 Ferry unit, the RAF Pershore Advanced Flying School and then the Royal Radar Establishment Flying unit.
After the War, RAF Pershore was destined to become a dispersal airfield for Vulcan Bombers in times of national crisis during the Cold War. Fortunately this never happened: other than a few training flights, its runway was rarely used.
After the Cold War the airfield fell into a state of disuse, and now is used by the Police and allegedly special forces for training (just a rumour), the once 6,000 feet runway is now dissected by a road, therefore only light aircraft and helicopters can land.
It featured a display by West Mercia Police with various vehicles, including unmarked pursuit cars and motorcycles. There was also a ‘drifting’ display by modified cars that were making lots of smoke and screeching of tyres much to the amusement of the Police officers present who were busy ribbing each other about each others driving abilities.
There was also the opportunity to take a flight in a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter which took its passengers on a sight seeing flight around the airfield.
Several other charities had stalls and were selling merchandise; the RAF had brought its mobile Red Arrows simulator which is great for anyone who wants to feel sick whilst getting the sensations an aerobatics pilot might feel. The British Army brought several armoured vehicles including a Mastif in Desert camo, a warrior armoured fighting vehicle and a self propelled field gun.
Unfortunately, a few sharp showers soon turned into prolonged heavy rain which became monsoon; coupled with a very low cloud base, they played havoc with the flying display.
The planned fly past by a E-3D and several other exhibits did not take place, although a Texan arrived as did a Hunting Jet Provost as well as the Breitling Wing walkers, who very bravely flew their display in very poor conditions.
Once back on the ground the girls who had done the display looked rather damp to say the least and standing on a biplane wing at 150 mph they were rather cold too.
The weather spoilt what was a lovely show and in spite of the organisers’ work , by the time the author left most of the visitors had left.
Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com
Image credit: Richard Clements
- Red Arrows on the runway, F-16 holding short, some thousand spectators: satellite imagery of Biggin Hill airport taken on airshow day (theaviationist.com)
- If you want to know what an airbase in Central Europe was like during the Cold War, visit Weeze (ex RAF Laarbruch) (theaviationist.com)