Thousands turn out for Abingdon airshow thrills

Herald Series: HIGH FLIERS: An English Electric Canberra bomber, left, and a Provost, below, were among the stars of the airshow; Buy this photo HIGH FLIERS: An English Electric Canberra bomber, left, and a Provost, below, were among the stars of the airshow;

UP TO 20,000 people enjoyed the May sunshine at the 15th annual Abingdon Air & Country Show yesterday.

They watched displays by 80 vintage and modern aircraft including Spitfires, an RAF Tucano training plane and a 1950s Canberra bomber.

Breitling Wingwalkers, parachute displays and military vehicles also entertained the crowds at Abingdon Airfield.

Co-organiser Colin Smith said: “We've had a fantastic turnout, easily the best turnout ever.

Herald Series:

Attractions on the ground included gliders from the Banbury Gliding Club – 13-year-old Charlie Hicks, above, got the chance to sit in the cockpit

“The weather has been a big help.

“All our profits go to charity, most of them to the Thames and Chiltern Air Ambulance. Last year we gave them £9,000 but we hope to top that this year.”

Denis Duggan, from Holton, near Wheatley, visited with wife Katie and children, Eoin, 20 months, and Aoife, four.

He said: “It’s our first time here. It’s been a great entertaining day out with lovely weather."

Belgium pilot Tony DeBruyn made his first air show appearance after a near-fatal crash at Cotswold Airport two years ago. Mr DeBruyn, 44, said: “I’ve been coming to Abingdon for five years. It’s the first of the year and has a fantastic atmosphere.”

Comments (12)

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7:18pm Mon 5 May 14

oagey says...

Sadly I was misquoted in this report and the figure of 20,000 visitors is over-estimated by the Oxford Mail.It is fair to say that this year's show was in all probability the best attended yet,but nowhere near 20,000

Having said that I would like to record a huge thanks on behalf of Neil Porter and his all-volunteer Organising Committee to everyone who did visit the show(...& yes,we are all volunteers with full-time day jobs around which the putting together of the show revolves in our spar time,I'm a postie in Didcot and we also have a grounds maintenance engineer{Neil himself) and bus driver{Jason Porter} among our happy gang
Sadly I was misquoted in this report and the figure of 20,000 visitors is over-estimated by the Oxford Mail.It is fair to say that this year's show was in all probability the best attended yet,but nowhere near 20,000 Having said that I would like to record a huge thanks on behalf of Neil Porter and his all-volunteer Organising Committee to everyone who did visit the show(...& yes,we are all volunteers with full-time day jobs around which the putting together of the show revolves in our spar time,I'm a postie in Didcot and we also have a grounds maintenance engineer{Neil himself) and bus driver{Jason Porter} among our happy gang oagey
  • Score: 4

9:36am Tue 6 May 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

Sadly when we turned up for a POTD with 3 excited kids we turned around and went away how can they justify an admission charge which would have cost us somewhere in the region of £50 for a Family for what was a couple of planes? I remeber when we last went a few years ago, the flying display was much longer and the price was at least half that with much more exciting things going on

Sadly these days with such (sky high) admission prices and the lack of a Family ticket - this total rip off of an "Air show" will be given a miss by us. we would much rather go to one of the excellent free ones such as Portsmouth, Dawlish or Southend than pay this much money.

Disgusted at the rip off.
Sadly when we turned up for a POTD with 3 excited kids we turned around and went away how can they justify an admission charge which would have cost us somewhere in the region of £50 for a Family for what was a couple of planes? I remeber when we last went a few years ago, the flying display was much longer and the price was at least half that with much more exciting things going on Sadly these days with such (sky high) admission prices and the lack of a Family ticket - this total rip off of an "Air show" will be given a miss by us. we would much rather go to one of the excellent free ones such as Portsmouth, Dawlish or Southend than pay this much money. Disgusted at the rip off. yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: -4

9:53am Tue 6 May 14

AirshowGoer says...

Yes, a disgusting rip off, imagine being asked to pay money to get into an event where the insurance alone costs the organisers tens of thousands of pounds. The aeroplanes all obviously don't use any fuel and cost nothing to maintain; the provision of toilets, bins, fencing, cones, etc. is magical and costs no money.

As for a "couple of" planes, perhaps a visit to Specsavers would be in order as there were 80+ on the ground and a three hour flying display including the first public appearance of the newly restored Canberra bomber. On top of that, lots going on on the ground.

I feel sorry for your kids that you would rather make them suffer a *very* long car journey to Southend or Dawlish (there is no Portsmouth airshow - it was cancelled last year) to get in for "free" (of course your car uses no fuel whatsoever, yes?).

Still, I'm sure the air ambulance thanks you for your support.
Yes, a disgusting rip off, imagine being asked to pay money to get into an event where the insurance alone costs the organisers tens of thousands of pounds. The aeroplanes all obviously don't use any fuel and cost nothing to maintain; the provision of toilets, bins, fencing, cones, etc. is magical and costs no money. As for a "couple of" planes, perhaps a visit to Specsavers would be in order as there were 80+ on the ground and a three hour flying display including the first public appearance of the newly restored Canberra bomber. On top of that, lots going on on the ground. I feel sorry for your kids that you would rather make them suffer a *very* long car journey to Southend or Dawlish (there is no Portsmouth airshow - it was cancelled last year) to get in for "free" (of course your car uses no fuel whatsoever, yes?). Still, I'm sure the air ambulance thanks you for your support. AirshowGoer
  • Score: 7

1:35pm Tue 6 May 14

ShazzaP8 says...

I have to say this was the worst flying display I have seen in all the years of living in Abingdon and attending the show. Ok, so it was scheduled to be 3 hours but it was so spread out that spectators were getting bored in between the flights and there are only so many times you can walk round the static displays. I worked many airshows while I was serving in the RAF and they all had much, much more than Abingdon had this year, even the small village shows - Abingdon used to be such a good show. I think it just needs rejuvenating and more 'crowd pleasing' aircraft (more fast jets is always a crowd puller) but cost now plays a bigger part and I can't see this airshow lasting much longer because of this reason. Maybe if the displays, both static and flying were better and the ground attractions more exciting then more people will attend and ticket prices can come down. I can appreciate that it cannot be free but to charge the price they do and have very little is not really fair, especially on those of us who have supported this event for many years. Of course, you are going to get people defending it but it was such a let down this time round. I know lots of people who have said they will not bother again and will watch the flying display from a layby and if it is as disappointing as this year they can leave without having to worry about the extortionate gate prices they have just paid.
I have to say this was the worst flying display I have seen in all the years of living in Abingdon and attending the show. Ok, so it was scheduled to be 3 hours but it was so spread out that spectators were getting bored in between the flights and there are only so many times you can walk round the static displays. I worked many airshows while I was serving in the RAF and they all had much, much more than Abingdon had this year, even the small village shows - Abingdon used to be such a good show. I think it just needs rejuvenating and more 'crowd pleasing' aircraft (more fast jets is always a crowd puller) but cost now plays a bigger part and I can't see this airshow lasting much longer because of this reason. Maybe if the displays, both static and flying were better and the ground attractions more exciting then more people will attend and ticket prices can come down. I can appreciate that it cannot be free but to charge the price they do and have very little is not really fair, especially on those of us who have supported this event for many years. Of course, you are going to get people defending it but it was such a let down this time round. I know lots of people who have said they will not bother again and will watch the flying display from a layby and if it is as disappointing as this year they can leave without having to worry about the extortionate gate prices they have just paid. ShazzaP8
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Tue 6 May 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

ShazzaP8 wrote:
I have to say this was the worst flying display I have seen in all the years of living in Abingdon and attending the show. Ok, so it was scheduled to be 3 hours but it was so spread out that spectators were getting bored in between the flights and there are only so many times you can walk round the static displays. I worked many airshows while I was serving in the RAF and they all had much, much more than Abingdon had this year, even the small village shows - Abingdon used to be such a good show. I think it just needs rejuvenating and more 'crowd pleasing' aircraft (more fast jets is always a crowd puller) but cost now plays a bigger part and I can't see this airshow lasting much longer because of this reason. Maybe if the displays, both static and flying were better and the ground attractions more exciting then more people will attend and ticket prices can come down. I can appreciate that it cannot be free but to charge the price they do and have very little is not really fair, especially on those of us who have supported this event for many years. Of course, you are going to get people defending it but it was such a let down this time round. I know lots of people who have said they will not bother again and will watch the flying display from a layby and if it is as disappointing as this year they can leave without having to worry about the extortionate gate prices they have just paid.
Were the planes flying a lot higher this year as well? we spent the afternoon in the park at Abingdon afterwards and thought a lot of the planes seemed to be awfully high. A couple of friends we know said it seemed quieter this year as well
[quote][p][bold]ShazzaP8[/bold] wrote: I have to say this was the worst flying display I have seen in all the years of living in Abingdon and attending the show. Ok, so it was scheduled to be 3 hours but it was so spread out that spectators were getting bored in between the flights and there are only so many times you can walk round the static displays. I worked many airshows while I was serving in the RAF and they all had much, much more than Abingdon had this year, even the small village shows - Abingdon used to be such a good show. I think it just needs rejuvenating and more 'crowd pleasing' aircraft (more fast jets is always a crowd puller) but cost now plays a bigger part and I can't see this airshow lasting much longer because of this reason. Maybe if the displays, both static and flying were better and the ground attractions more exciting then more people will attend and ticket prices can come down. I can appreciate that it cannot be free but to charge the price they do and have very little is not really fair, especially on those of us who have supported this event for many years. Of course, you are going to get people defending it but it was such a let down this time round. I know lots of people who have said they will not bother again and will watch the flying display from a layby and if it is as disappointing as this year they can leave without having to worry about the extortionate gate prices they have just paid.[/p][/quote]Were the planes flying a lot higher this year as well? we spent the afternoon in the park at Abingdon afterwards and thought a lot of the planes seemed to be awfully high. A couple of friends we know said it seemed quieter this year as well yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 1

3:46pm Tue 6 May 14

Adrian1 says...

I had a lot to say reference the negative input, but after thinking it through a lot and erasing it twice I'll just say I think it's a great show taken for what it is and I'm sorry I missed it this year due to illness. Thanks for all the effort and time put in by the volunteers and for that matter all those who work on it. Hope to be along next year.
I had a lot to say reference the negative input, but after thinking it through a lot and erasing it twice I'll just say I think it's a great show taken for what it is and I'm sorry I missed it this year due to illness. Thanks for all the effort and time put in by the volunteers and for that matter all those who work on it. Hope to be along next year. Adrian1
  • Score: 2

5:12pm Tue 6 May 14

doozer says...

It costs nearly 4 quid for a swim at the leisure centre, it'll cost you a fiver for a coffee and croisantte in town. It even costs a couple of quid to stand on the roof of County Hall...how can £12 for a day out be considered poor value for money!?

As my kids have got a little older I am constantly shocked at just how expensive 'stuff to do' is...from extortionet prices at the Ock street fair...to Lechlade wildlife park....etc etc.... But when we aren't opting to entertain ourselves for free....the airshow is blindingly good value for money, aswell as safe, clean, local, for charity and super convenient.

Yes...I'dd love some more crowd pleasing jet planes....but fairplay to the part time, unpaid workforce and their efforts for getting it done at all!
It costs nearly 4 quid for a swim at the leisure centre, it'll cost you a fiver for a coffee and croisantte in town. It even costs a couple of quid to stand on the roof of County Hall...how can £12 for a day out be considered poor value for money!? As my kids have got a little older I am constantly shocked at just how expensive 'stuff to do' is...from extortionet prices at the Ock street fair...to Lechlade wildlife park....etc etc.... But when we aren't opting to entertain ourselves for free....the airshow is blindingly good value for money, aswell as safe, clean, local, for charity and super convenient. Yes...I'dd love some more crowd pleasing jet planes....but fairplay to the part time, unpaid workforce and their efforts for getting it done at all! doozer
  • Score: 1

9:12pm Tue 6 May 14

iancummings says...

I spent all afternoon there and thought it was excellent value for £15. This is an air show where the flying planes are reasonable close, not like other displays I have been to where you need a telescope to see anything. I think the fact that the first poster didn't actually go into the show rather mitigates his criticism of the whole thing?
I spent all afternoon there and thought it was excellent value for £15. This is an air show where the flying planes are reasonable close, not like other displays I have been to where you need a telescope to see anything. I think the fact that the first poster didn't actually go into the show rather mitigates his criticism of the whole thing? iancummings
  • Score: 1

8:44am Wed 7 May 14

horsham says...

I had an excellent day with my 13 year old son. The cost was £16 for both of us, great value for money. We had lots to do and I was quite happy to pay for him to go on the Red Arrows Flight Simulator. Loads of planes to see; static and air born, the Merlin engine being fired up, classic cars and army vehicles, falconry in the show ring, lots of places to get food. I saw a lot of families with picnics. We arrived just after 12 and had to reluctantly leave at 4.30. Will go again for sure.

One point though. I bought an advance tickets but had to queue with all motorists that paid on the day. A lane for 'Advance tickets' would be helpful as they are waved through quickly and will therefore get the cars in and parked quicker.
I had an excellent day with my 13 year old son. The cost was £16 for both of us, great value for money. We had lots to do and I was quite happy to pay for him to go on the Red Arrows Flight Simulator. Loads of planes to see; static and air born, the Merlin engine being fired up, classic cars and army vehicles, falconry in the show ring, lots of places to get food. I saw a lot of families with picnics. We arrived just after 12 and had to reluctantly leave at 4.30. Will go again for sure. One point though. I bought an advance tickets but had to queue with all motorists that paid on the day. A lane for 'Advance tickets' would be helpful as they are waved through quickly and will therefore get the cars in and parked quicker. horsham
  • Score: 2

6:02pm Wed 7 May 14

oagey says...

there was a dedicated lane for Advance Ticket holders...it was the
left-hand lane on the approach to the Pay-Gate and car-parks and(at
least when I arrived at the airfield at 0600hrs that day) was well
sign-posted



at this point it is worth mentioning that Abingdon Air & Country Show is NOT run by a full-time Events Management Company,but a 6-person all-volunteer Organising Committee who put the show together in their spare time from work(for example we have grounds maintenance,bus driver and postie among the Organising Committee).We all sacrifice much time over a 9-month period to bring this show to you and also sacrifice a weeks Annual Leave to put the showground and car-park together in the days leading up to the show and return it to a fit state on the Bank Holiday Monday before handing the airfield back to the Army on Tuesday after the show
The show is pretty much self-financing costing us in excess of £70k to put together and don't forget that after our bills have been paid and a little set aside to kick-start next years show,we make a healthy donation to the local Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust...an Charity based vital asset to the local emergency services that all-too often is mentioned in the Press as attending an incident and Heaven forbid any one of us could need it at any time anywhere in any situation

Thanks to everyone who supported us this year and indeed every year asnd look forward to seeing you all again in 2015
there was a dedicated lane for Advance Ticket holders...it was the left-hand lane on the approach to the Pay-Gate and car-parks and(at least when I arrived at the airfield at 0600hrs that day) was well sign-posted at this point it is worth mentioning that Abingdon Air & Country Show is NOT run by a full-time Events Management Company,but a 6-person all-volunteer Organising Committee who put the show together in their spare time from work(for example we have grounds maintenance,bus driver and postie among the Organising Committee).We all sacrifice much time over a 9-month period to bring this show to you and also sacrifice a weeks Annual Leave to put the showground and car-park together in the days leading up to the show and return it to a fit state on the Bank Holiday Monday before handing the airfield back to the Army on Tuesday after the show The show is pretty much self-financing costing us in excess of £70k to put together and don't forget that after our bills have been paid and a little set aside to kick-start next years show,we make a healthy donation to the local Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust...an Charity based vital asset to the local emergency services that all-too often is mentioned in the Press as attending an incident and Heaven forbid any one of us could need it at any time anywhere in any situation Thanks to everyone who supported us this year and indeed every year asnd look forward to seeing you all again in 2015 oagey
  • Score: 1

11:10pm Wed 7 May 14

doozer says...

Oagey - a small point but when we were arriving by car at about 12.30 the queue (that was moving and didn't take long to get through at all) was quite long and as a driver I had to decide which one to join. As far back as we were, therenwere bo sihns tbat far back to indicate the prepaid ticket holders lane. By chance...we chose the right one.

A very small point...but an extra couple of signs right at the top would be greatfor next year.

This is not a complaint, merely a point I noticed.

A great show - all credit to you and your team - looking forward to next year already!
Oagey - a small point but when we were arriving by car at about 12.30 the queue (that was moving and didn't take long to get through at all) was quite long and as a driver I had to decide which one to join. As far back as we were, therenwere bo sihns tbat far back to indicate the prepaid ticket holders lane. By chance...we chose the right one. A very small point...but an extra couple of signs right at the top would be greatfor next year. This is not a complaint, merely a point I noticed. A great show - all credit to you and your team - looking forward to next year already! doozer
  • Score: 1

10:22am Wed 14 May 14

skcollob says...

I would have been happy to pay just to to see the Canberra, and also listen to the Merlin engines. Sadly i could not go due to work commitments. One comment though, i could be wrong but i`m pretty sure the canberra shown is not a bomber but a photo recce version, the bomber version had a bubble canopy. Still, i hope to make it next year.
I would have been happy to pay just to to see the Canberra, and also listen to the Merlin engines. Sadly i could not go due to work commitments. One comment though, i could be wrong but i`m pretty sure the canberra shown is not a bomber but a photo recce version, the bomber version had a bubble canopy. Still, i hope to make it next year. skcollob
  • Score: 0

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