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Elvington "Against The Odds" - May 11/12th

This was my second time at the "Against the Odds" and only the third time the event has been held. I travelled down to Elvington on Friday, leaving late morning and arriving around 2pm. I began to unpack the trailer to set up in the same spot as last year, next to the Night Flying Equipment Store, near the Tower. I'd just about finished putting up the tent, but hadn't yet started to unloaded everything into it when the Jeep was requested for a press photo shoot. I drove around to the Halifax and parked up where requested, then left it to go back and finish unpacking the trailer.

It was a dull and cloudy afternoon, but the clouds only added to the atmospheric feeling to the pictures. A few of my pictures are shown from during the shoot and a couple thanks to Charlotte Graham Photography - photos that ended up in the Telegraph, Times and Yorkshire Post.

I took a few more pictures later in the evening as the Sun was going down, but as it was a freezing cold evening, I retired to the tent early. It stayed very cold overnight, raining quite hard and despite a sleeping bag and duvet, I woke around 05:30 hours, cold and I struggled to get back to sleep.

The rain stopped by morning and it turned out a nice bright start to the day, though a bit of a breeze. Before the museum staff swept away the excess water, I got some nice reflection photos around the site.

The museum's Halifax recreation represents two different aircraft. The starboard side of the aircraft is in French markings, while the port side is painted at the famous "Friday the 13th". The aircraft is constructed from an original rear fuselage, a new build tailplane, a Handley-Page Hastings wing and new build front fuselage. It is the only example of an intact Halifax in Europe. One other example is located at the RAF Museum, Hendon, in the condition it was found when recovered from a Norwegian Fjord.

It was just a short walk from my tent to the Halifax, through the RAF encampment. RAF re-enactors were frequently seen coming and going from their camp to the NAAFI. A number of other vehicles were on display, including an Austin Tilly, three Airborne Jeeps, the Royal Navy bomb disposal group and a Jeep from the East Yorks Regiment. There were also several civilian cars and a bus.

On several occasions, the RAF group held a briefing for the mission to the French coast on D-Day and there were also dancers from the York Vintage dance group, plus the Seatones trio performing a number of times across both days. 

The following pictures show the disarming of a German parachute mine by the Royal Navy bomb disposal team.

Late on Saturday, all the RAF re-enactors gathered at the tower to re-create a VE Day photograph from Elvington, posted on the YAM Facebook page. I got one quick photo of most of the re-enactors in place, before joining them for another of Charlotte Graham's photos, both seen below. Once the balcony emptied, I climbed up for a quick top view of the Halifax and my camp.

Once the public left at the end of the day, and most of the re-enactors had gone to eat, I took "Jessie" back to the Halifax to do another photo shoot of my own. The view through the back window of the Jeep was edited to create the effect of the Halifax engines running. Unfortunately, due to the position of a small wood near the T2 hangar, the strange orange evening light of the sun set was shielded from the Halifax.

Sunday began with an atmospheric mist over the airfield and another opportunity to catch the Halifax in a different light. The mist soon burned away to give a very hot day, with little wind to provide cooling. Both days saw a good turnout from the public and everyone seemed to enjoy the weekend. The museum was very pleased with the way it went and have confirmed the dates for 2020.

Late on Sunday, the re-enactors gathered again at the Halifax for one last group picture, taken by Neill Watson from the Yorkshire Air Museum. Click the image for a larger version.