July 9, 2017

Yeovilton International Air Day

By

IMG_4164IMG_4333Margot’s brother, Rufus, my friend James and I travelled down to the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton in Somerset yesterday for their annual International Air Day.

This is a hugely popular ‘Fly Navy’ airshow which showcases the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, its current and future capabilities and historic accomplishments, including hours of amazing flying displays and spectacular role demonstrations.

It also features an enormous array of ground attractions, from engineering fairs to the latest defence technology exhibitions, Service displays, trade stalls and arena displays. For the thrill seekers, there are simulators, fairground rides and helicopter pleasure flights to enjoy, making this a regular ‘family day out’ calendar fixture for 40,000 visitors each year.

IMG_4285IMG_4239Essentially, we set up our stand and not wishing to impose ourselves on anyone or to be ‘bone marrow bores’, we made a point of not approaching people, but instead simply made ourselves available and waited for people to stop and enquire. And they did, steadily throughout the day and at a pace and frequency that enabled us to have full and proper conversations, without feeling rushed or as though we needed more time. It all felt very natural as we explained the need for donors, demystified the process and encouraged people to register.

We met many people, including existing or previous blood donors who weren’t aware of the need for bone marrow, a lady who had a bone marrow transplant three years ago, people from the police & the military, nurses, girl guides and basically the full spectrum of people and families.

There was a lot of love around our stand and occasionally emotions took hold; at times there were tears, particularly when people realised that I was Margot’s father. But all in all, this was a really positive and happy day and I’m delighted that we were there. It felt like we made a difference.

with Christine Clancey, one of the four people who organised the Air Day

with Christine Clancey, one of the four people who organised the Air Day

What a fantastic way to finish a really lovely day at Yeovilton Air Day meeting this family, who all pledged to join the register...

What a fantastic way to finish a really lovely day at Yeovilton Air Day meeting this family, who all pledged to join the register…

Thank you to Christine Clancey and in particular Commander Henry Mereweather for the idea and for making us so welcome.

Team Margot
Together, saving lives

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 09.15.01

IMG_4145IMG_4168IMG_4167IMG_4331

James is one of our four Team Margot trustees

James is one of our four Team Margot trustees

James, with Keith Knowles, a staunch Team Margot supporter

James, with Keith Knowles, a staunch Team Margot supporter

Rufus, taking it all in

Rufus, taking it all in and making the best use of a high vantage point

West Ham supporter Robbie McCutcheon (12) joined us earlier today with his mum Ali, who is already on the bone marrow register (and is also a former blood donor)

West Ham supporter Robbie McCutcheon (12) joined us earlier today with his mum Ali, who is already on the bone marrow register (and is also a former blood donor)

My initial connection with the Navy originally began with Commodore Jock Alexander, who previously ran Yeovilton and is now CEO for the Fly Navy Heritage Trust charity

My initial connection with the Navy originally began with Commodore Jock Alexander, who previously ran Yeovilton and is now CEO for the Fly Navy Heritage Trust charity

Another Team Margot supporter, Lt Cdr Chris Götke, who flew a Chipmunk at the air show yesterday. Chris was awarded the Air Force Cross for how he handled the landing of a Sea Fury, when it unexpectedly lost power during an air display back in 2014 at the Culdrose Airshow. His skill as a pilot and calm response managed to avoid a packed crowd of spectators who were watching and also rescue the aircraft, which is a National heirloom

Another Team Margot supporter, Lt Cdr Chris Götke, who flew a Chipmunk at the air show yesterday. Chris was awarded the Air Force Cross for how he handled the landing of a Sea Fury, when it unexpectedly lost power during an air display back in 2014 at the Culdrose Airshow. His skill as a pilot and calm response managed to avoid a packed crowd of spectators who were watching and also rescue the aircraft, which is a National heirloom

Team Margot lapel pin now featuring at the Somerset West Police Cadets

Team Margot lapel pin now featuring at the Somerset West Police Cadets

Husband to Vicki and father to Oscar (2007), Rufus (2008), Digby (2015) & Margot (2012-2014)

Posted in: Journal