Wings clipped at rain-hit air show

AIRBORNE ACTION -- only a handful of aircraft were able to take to the skies at the Merlin Pageant -- DISPIC NHUD12-1557-8
AIRBORNE ACTION -- only a handful of aircraft were able to take to the skies at the Merlin Pageant -- DISPIC NHUD12-1557-8

OVERCAST skies, rain and various setbacks took their toll on the annual Hucknall air show run by the Merlin Flying Club.

The club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and was hoping its 2012 extravaganza would be an occasion to remember.

IN THE TRENCHES -- a World War Two re-enactment -- DISPIC NHUD12-1557-12

IN THE TRENCHES -- a World War Two re-enactment -- DISPIC NHUD12-1557-12

But aircraft due to take part in the show, once again held at Hucknall Aerodrome off Watnall Road, were stranded in different parts of the country because of the below-par weather last Saturday.

Also, a children’s fair had to be cancelled because the operator was taken ill on the day of the event.

The Merlin Pageant, as the show is known under the theme Wings and Wheels, was to have featured the only Hawker Hurricane that saw service in the Battle of Britain still flying and a Mustang which also took part in World War Two.

In their absence, a P40 War Hawk, also a veteran of the Second World War, flew to the rescue.

The main organiser, Colin Hutson, said another big consolation was an excellent turnout of classic cars and motorbikes, as well as a mini war re-enactment.

The aviation museum of Rolls-Royce, which is Hucknall’s top employer, was open to the public during the show. Among other attractions were selections by the Rolls-Royce Brass Band, which hails from the aero-engine company’s headquarters in Derby.

Proceeds of the event were for various charities, including the Rainbows Children’s Hospice in Loughborough.

“Under the circumstances, an attendance of about 1,000 during the day was quite encouraging,” said Colin. “But all in all, it was hardly one of our most memorable shows.”