STARS AND STRIPES RV RALLY AT BURTONWOOD
The trip from The Black Country to Burtonwood was calculated to take just under two hours according to Strict Lady, and normally I seem to travel a bit more slowly than she thinks I will, so thinking that the area I was heading to as well as the one I was leaving were both quite industrial, I wanted to arrive before too much traffic built up. I knew I wouldn’t avoid it on the M6 which is like a city which never sleeps.
Having stopped outside my brother’s unit once before I heard the lorry drivers at the commercial transport yard next door arriving at about three to start their day, and keen as I was I didn’t intend to make a start as early as that. In the event we arrived at not long past seven and crept in so as not to disturb the sleeping camp.
All the places in the RV section seemed to be taken and not knowing exactly where I was expected to be we simply stopped in the middle of a largish carpark area and I took Phoebe to ’stretch her legs’
There were masses of trees, in fact it was hard to imagine this must have been a huge open expanse of concrete and grass during the war. The RAF operations started there in 1940 and when America joined the war it became a USA airforce base, hence the Stars and Stripes event I was attending.
The base was mainly a maintenance base and there is an excellent small museum onsite detailing the history with lots of memorabilia if you are interested. This is a poem which says a lot about the base.
The Forgotten Man
Through the history of world aviation, many names have come to the fore.
Great deeds of the past in our memory will last, as they’re joined by more and more.
When man first started his labour, in his quest to conquer the sky,
He was designer, mechanic and pilot and he built a machine that would fly.
The pilot was everyone’s hero, he was brave, he was bold, he was grand.
As he stood by his battered old biplane with his goggles and helmet in hand.
To be sure these pilots all earned it, to fly then you had to have guts.
And they blazed their name in the Hall of Fame on wings with bailing wire struts.
But for each of our flying hero’s, there were thousands of little renown.
And these were the men who worked on the planes but kept their feet on the ground.
We all know the name of Lindberg and we’ve read of his flight into fame.
But think, if you can, of his maintenance man. Can you remember his name?
And think of our wartime hero’s- Gabreski. Jabara and Scott.
Can you tell me the names of their crew chiefs? A thousand to one you cannot.
Now pilots are highly trained people and wings are not easily won.
But without the work of the maintenance man our pilots would march with a gun.
So, when you see the mighty aircraft, as they mark their path through the air.
The grease stained man with the wrench in his hand,
Is the man who put them there.
Once everyone was up and about I was moved into the group of RVs and got to meet some of the folk who had patiently answered my ’newbie’ questions about RV’s starting from before I bought Thebus, and still being helpful now. They were a friendly bunch and it was a good weekend. Not least when on the Saturday evening when I pressed the button to retract the electric sun awning and it collapsed and fell off. A stalwart group of men gathered with ladders and spanners and removed it, plus someone agreed to take it back with them for repair, to be collected by me when the parts arrived from America. How good was that!
The show itself was interesting and is obviously being developed and expanded. It has a mainly American theme, with lots of things to do with all things American and both the World Wars as well. Folk were dressed in period costume, and there were excellent displays to look at. We were fortunate with the weather so I was able to take my time looking round and there was music and jitterbug and jive to entertain us throughout the day.
In the evening there was a Stars and Stripes Dance, and those who wanted to could go dressed in a period style and some of them were very good. Follow the link and take a look at the photos.
All in all a fun weekend. Thank you RVOC and Burtonwood.