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Croft Nostalgia - Aug 6/7th

Friday 5th was busy all day with race teams, military vehicles, re-enactors and classic cars arriving and setting up camp. There were around 600 vehicle and re-enactor entries booked in, excluding the racing competitors. Mike and Maurice ( seen below ), organised all the military vehicle and classic car/truck/bus entries. They worked hard all weekend, allocating display space, ferrying people around and trying to solve participants problems, sometimes without much help or thanks. Thanks must also go to the circuit owner and management team for providing a great venue and organising all the hidden support such as security, marshalling, toilets, food stalls etc.

Further event pictures can be found at www.croftmilitary.co.uk

Here's a small selection of pictures from Friday afternoon and evening.

Despite the weather forecast, spirits were high for an enjoyable weekend, and people were having fun meeting up with old friends. The beautiful evening sunset disguised the weather to come the following day.
Blue skies, sunny, warm, were all words that would evaporate away on Friday evening and be long forgotten on Saturday morning. As with any out door event in the UK, we were at the mercy of the weather, and unfortunately, the thunder storm that made a number of passes over Croft for several hours, messed up several aspects of the planned programme. 

So to start with, apologies. The low cloud ceiling and heavy rain meant that we unfortunately missed out on the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Hurricane and Spitfire. The organising team were thrilled to have the BBMF confirm attendance several months ago, and were very disappointed that the plans were being washed away minute by minute. Understandably, the RAF take great care to protect these national treasures, and the conditions at Croft and around the rest of the country made it impossible to safely bring the aircraft to display.

While the rain cleared up on Sunday, the volume of water and ground conditions still continued to cause problems. On Saturday evening, it looked like the parade laps would have to be cancelled because of the risk of vehicles carrying large quantities of mud onto the track. The ground and track had dried out to some degree on Sunday morning, allowing the parade laps to go ahead. However the circuit manager considered it too risky to have the halftrack and Chaffee tank churning up mud in the start/finish field and bringing it back across the track at the fast corner at the end of the straight. So sadly, we didn't get our rolling armour or firing displays.

Yet another casualty was the Jet Provost flying display. By the time the weather cleared enough for take off, there wasn't sufficient time to transit to Croft and perform the display before racing began, as there is a no flying rule while racing is under way for safely reasons.

It wasn't just the flying that suffered. Racing was stopped for several hours for safety reasons, and once the rain did stop, the qualifying continued into the evening, trying to make up for lost time.
One shot taken during the parade lap. There were one or two people who didn't understand the word parade, and instead thought it meant race. They were quickly reprimanded for their actions. We are all guests of the circuit owner, and a little consideration shouldn't be too much to ask from those taking part in the event. Because it was a parade, the circuit safety marshalls were also not on duty, another reason for the swift response to those taking advantage. It is only the second event of its kind at Croft, and we are still in a learning curve. The event will be studied over the following months to hopefully enable it to grow and become a better experience for participants and public alike.
 Sunday was by far the better day. While it wasn't tropical temperatures, it was dry and we even saw blue sky at times. The military display line stretched the length of the runway and the classic car field was virtually full. The damp track also provided plenty of thrills for the drivers and spectators alike, with several cars needing a little more work than a bit of buffing to remove the bumps and scratches. 
 One of the displays which didn't suffer as a result of the rain was the Griffon Aero Engine. This was run a number of times across the weekend, attracting large crowds, and between engine runs, the safety rope was lowered allowing people a close look at this amazing piece of engineering.
Croft Nostalgia 2011, despite the weather, was a great event. The rain undoubtedly will have affected gate numbers, although on Sunday, there were still large numbers of people to be seen around the site. There will always be ways to improve the experience, and we are open to genuine constructive critisism. It seems common for people to complain anonymously via forums and Facebook etc, but if the organising team aren't told of issues, they can't be addressed.

If you have suggestions for attractions or ways to improve the show for 2012, then please do contact us at the following email address, and we will do our best. If you work in the MET office, we would consider setting aside a budget to guarantee good weather for 2012!!


Thanks for your support.