2014 is the 50th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team The Red Arrows and it was decided to hold a reunion of former members at their spiritual home at RAF Kemble, now Cotswold Airport near Cirencester. Most of those attending were familiar with the location of the old fire station now the AV8 Bistro restaurant. This is located alongside the control tower with views of the runway and the cotswolds beyond.
On the weeks building up to the reunion, the manager of AV8, Sue Bennett, provided a lots of help and advice for which the organisors were very grateful. The decision was taken to keep things as simple as we could with a choice of either chicken curry or salmon salad and a beer with a pay bar. This was to allow for opportunities for the 'old boys' to have time to renew friendships and chat about experiences that have made the team world class.
On the 10th July around 55 former members of the Red Arrows (pilots and engineers) and invited guests arrived at AV8. We were treated to private aerobactic display by the Gnat Display Team led by Ollie Wheeldon before having the opportunity to walk around the beautifully restored Folland Gnats and chat to the pilots. We then retired to the restaurant where Sue and her team served the meals and beers. Service was efficient and the food tasty. During the evening two framed pictures and two framed 'plaques' were presented to the restaurant. The latter to commemorate the fact The Red Arrows were based there from 1965 to 1983 and the other record the the names of seven Red Arrow pilots lost their lives there during the same period. Sue had arranged for these to be permanently mounted on the wall for visitors to see,
A great time was had by all. Brilliant venue, good food, good service and perfect weather.
To find AV8, take the A433 from Cirencester toward Tetbury, pass under the arched rail bridge near the Thames Head pub. After one mile look for the green Cotswold Airport signs on the left. Turn left into a small narrow road, at the end of which turn right onto the airfield. Follow signs to AV8 or Control Tower - easy!
Thank you AV8, you helped to make a lot of people very happy.
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