It was particularly enjoyable this year as I was in the company of the thunderbolt_b posse, unashamed propellorheads all. After Saturday's Moddery I travelled to Ilford, where Ultrafox was housesitting, for an evening of convivial company and a convenient train ride to Southend in the morning. Present were Ultra, ANTIcarrot, wardy, phoenicia and new recruit arakinuk.
We arrived just in time for the Sea Vixen (the very one in the pic), and learned that it's a plane of which Ultrafox is very fond - I wonder why? Flying hours were divided between moseying along the trade and military stalls in search of goodies and staring up at the sky from our base camp on the grass.
I got a custom dog tag made for swedish_lars, and the rest of the gang decided to have tags made for their characters too. We must have looked like members of some mysterious cult as we walked along together, gently jingling - which, of course, we are. For the record, Lars's tag reads:
LARS FLINKwhich translates as 'Lars Flink, Swedish Air Force' (I hope).
As is traditional for Southend, the weather was changeable and it rained at least once. A great show, though, featuring perennial favourites the Hunter, the Nimrod and the Utterly Butterly wingwalkers, as well as my first Red Arrows display of the year - the first of many, I hope. (Their 2004 manouevres are now up for your perusal; Ultra might like #1, the 'Big Vixen Roll', while swedish_lars would be more into #4, the 'Gripen Bend'.)
All too soon the Harrier performed its trademark bow to the audience and it was time to get the train back to Ilford, thence to wend my way home via Stratford and Canary Wharf.
Same time next year, chaps?