The Original Flying PROMS at the Shuttleworth Collection
We went to the flying proms at the Shuttleworth Collection in Bedfordshire on 21th August. The collection was first started by Richard Shuttleworth, he was initially interested in motor racing but after a crash changed to flying, although he unfortunately died in a plane crash in 1940. His mother then founded a trust in his memory that purchased and maintained aircraft in flying condition. The trust now has a number of both vintage cars and planes with some very early Edwardian examples, original and replicas still flying.
The flying proms have been running over a decade now and combine air displays from the Shuttleworth collection with an orchestra playing classical music. On the day the weather was too windy so for the very early planes too fly, since they need very calm conditions to get airborne. The displays started with a Gloster Gladiator followed by some WW1 British planes (these are now over 90 years old and still airworthy). The display continued with inter war & WW2 planes, including a Lysander which was used to drop agents into occupied France. The air display finished with a Hurricane from the collection and a Spitfire that flew in from Duxford (the site of the Imperial War Museum’s Collection). It was interesting to see how the organizers matched the Music to the planes. In the case of the WW2 planes they used Walton’s music for the Battle of Britain film which invokes the feeling of constant watching and sudden action when in contact with enemy fighters during a dogfight.
The second half of the evening was a medley of favorite tunes that are played at the last performance of the Promenade concerts in the Royal Albert Hall. Very stirring stuff it was too especially as the concert ended with a fireworks display.
I enjoyed it very much. I am looking forward to going next year.