Below is a list of events in the Solent area this Summer.
Southwick Village D-Day Revival 2017
Southwick nestles in the valley below Portsdown Hill. In 1944 Southwick House became the base for Admiral Ramsay, General Eisenhower and General Montgomery to plan Operation Overlord D-Day landings.
If you have never been to this annual revival then see below what you are missing. The whole village joins in with sandbags at the ready and windows taped up.
This year some new events have been added.
Military Wives Choir Concert on Friday 9 June will be the opening event for this year’s festival.
A 1940’s Dinner Dance is on Saturday 10 June.
D-Day Map Room Tours will depart and return from Southwick House on Saturday 10 June and Sunday 11 June 2017. All tickets now sold.
Two Military Historian Talks with Celebrity Speakers will take place:
Saturday 10 June: Eric “Winkle” Brown: A Life at Full Throttle.
Colonel Paul Beaver; aviation historian, broadcaster and writer is the official biographer of Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown and gives a fascinating insight into the incredible life in the air of Britain’s greatest aviator.
Sunday 11 June: Stout Hearts:
Ben Kite recently published ‘Stout Hearts’, a book which offers a new perspective of ordinary soldiers from the British and Canadian Army in the Normandy campaign. With his own lifetime army career, Ben Kite is qualified to speak with passion and integrity from the viewpoint of the boots on the ground.
A Special Fly-past by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota will take place on Saturday 10 June and Sunday 11 June. Dakota flight times now confirmed as follows:
Saturday 10th June, 15:30 hours.
Sunday 11th June, 13:00 hours.
This aircraft played an important part in the liberation of Europe transporting paras to the drop zones of Normandy on the eve of D-Day.
For full details and to book your ticket go to Southwick Revival website.
Latest news (19th May):
All tickets for Saturday and Sunday Map Room Tour now sold out.
Some tickets still available for the talks.
Click on the link above to go to the Southwick Revival website to find details of how you can book your ticket.
This year marks the centenary of the opening of Daedalus airfield, now called Solent Airport.
The airfield opened 100 years ago as RNAS Lee-on-Solent on 30 July 1917. The First World War Naval Seaplane Training School was later renamed RAF Seaplane Training School.
In the Second World War DAEDALUS played a major part in the build-up to D-Day. In June 1944 over 400 aircraft flew out from Lee on the Solent as part of Operation Overlord. The aircraft included Spitfires and Seafires.
Today Solent Airport is home to a flying school, a gliding school, a flying club and the Hovercraft Museum.
Several of the original historic buildings still exist, one of which is the former Officers’ Mess.
Behind the rarely opened doors of the 1930s building there are some architectural gems, just waiting to be restored to their former glory as a hotel and restaurant open to the public. Soon, we hope.
Seldom does the public get the opportunity to have access to this fine example of Lee-on-the-Solent heritage. It will be part of the Daedalus open day in September.
A few examples of what hides behind the doors are shown here now.
Such as one of the Art Deco stain glass windows.
Also this gem of a floor tessellation is unspoiled by sunlight over the decades. It is almost too lovely to walk on. Imagine how many feet most have walked across that floor in its time.
The Officers’ Ballroom with the musicians’ gallery is still splendid, despite years of neglect. But how wonderful is could look again if and when fully restored.
More photos of Daedalus gems will appear here as DAEDALUS 100 approaches. Such as the fireplaces and Officers’ Bar.
Following on the huge success of D-Day 70 in 2014, Lee Flying Association are once again coordinating a public event.
It will include flights by different types of aircraft, some of them vintage. See above.
There will also be standing aircraft on display and various other activities.
DAEDALUS 100 public event will take place on Saturday 16 September.
RESEARCH Projects asking for volunteer help.
The University of Chichester is appealing for help with a WW1 research study to investigate US fighter pilots at Tangmere. Press Officer James Haigh says:
“A history project investigating the American fighter pilots stationed at a West Sussex airbase in the First World War has been launched by the University of Chichester. The study will examine the lives of United States aviators who were based at Tangmere aerodrome and sites across Sussex during the conflict. Researchers from the University are working with volunteers from Tangmere Military Aviation Museum and the Chichester Community Development Trust for the Over Here project.”
Dr Ross Wilson, a senior lecturer in Modern History and Public Heritage, established the study to raise awareness of the role of Tangmere in developing American military aviation. He said:
“After the United States entered the war in 1917, pilots, labourers, medics, and soldiers were sent over here to manage aerodromes. America did not have an advanced history of military aviation at this point so it agreed a programme of sharing technology and resources with Britain to instruct its pilots in fighting, reconnaissance and bombing. This was the start of the special relationship between the two nations so sites like Tangmere are a really important part of modern history.”
The project hopes to unearth evidence about the technological innovations developed in Sussex with a focus on the long-range Handley Page bombers that were built to cross enemy lines and target sites in Germany. It will also investigate the political and military history as well as the relationships between residents and US servicemen at Tangmere and at the nearby Ford and Rustington aerodromes. The study is funded by the Gateways to the First World War charity, through the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which was established to raise awareness of the conflict on its centenary.
Dr Wilson added: “This project will enhance our understanding of the war in the Sussex region as well as demonstrating the importance of Tangmere on an international scale. We have already identified some individuals who were working at these aerodromes and in the next few months will be providing biographies and details of their service. Remembering the technological advances, the political developments, and those who served and died ensures we can also provide a better picture of this understudied aspect of the conflict for schools and community groups.”
An exhibition presenting all research unearthed from the project will be held in Chichester in September.
Dr Wilson will also host a conference at the University during the month to mark the centenary of the United States’ entry into the war.
EMSWORTH RESEARCH INTO WW1 SOPWITH CAMEL MANUFACTURE – CAN YOU HELP?
A major project looking into the significant contribution made by ‘Land Girls’, and the local construction of the Sopwith Camel biplane, during World War 1, is being planned for the Hayling Island, Emsworth and Chidham area in 2018.
WemsFest Director Mark Ringwood explains:
‘We know that women had to take on many tasks which would otherwise have been accepted as traditional male roles purely because most of the men were away fighting in Europe. Locally there were a lot of women employed in agriculture, as well as in the fishing, brewing, and leather industries. Added to this was the fact that The Sopwith Camel is believed to have been built in three separate local locations – Chidham, Emsworth, and Hayling Island – during the last two years of the war.
If anyone can help us with any aspect of the research we would love to hear from them. It’s our intention to stage a major exhibition, and theatre and music performances based on this history, hopefully in October and November 2018, to mark the centenary of this conflict.’
Anyone with anecdotes or history pertaining to activities which went on from 1914-1918, can contact Mark Millington-Ringwood on 01243 370501 or 07802 500050 or at 6 Lumley Terrace, Lumley Road, Emsworth, Hampshire, UK, PO10 8AB. Or Wemfest website.
AVIATION ART CLUB
Solent Aviation Art Society meet on second Wednesday each month at the Community Room, Tesco, Quay Street, Fareham PO16 0LE.
“We are a friendly group with an interest in aviation art. We go to various venues around the South of England, where members draw, sketch or paint subjects of their choice.
We also have exhibitions and competitions. All abilities welcome.
For more information telephone 01489 578420.”
New Book – Fifty Ways to Fly is a collection of poems and songs. The inspiration for this came from Alison Hill, who invited submissions on a single theme.
Alison Hill will be reading from ‘Fifty Ways to Fly’ anthology on Sunday, 17 September 2017, at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth.
It is organised by Tongues and Grooves, run by poet Maggie Sawkins, who has two poems in the anthology.
To read more about this go to Fifty Ways To Fly.