RAF Wyton Annual Reception
Fg Off Fyfe
September saw RAF Wyton host the Annual Reception in the Officers’ Mess.
The Annual Reception is an important event as it allows RAF Wyton to say ‘thank you’ to members of the local community who have supported the Station throughout the year. This year the reception was held in the format of a cocktail party and was attended by over 60 guests. These guests included various civic dignitaries including Lord and Lady de Ramsey, both the Mayors of Huntingdon and St Ives, the regional Police Commissioner, local councillors and members of the local community. This is a particularly important event as we, the Station community rely upon each other to help build strong and enduring relationships. These relationships are key enablers to the successful running of any military establishment.
After some canapés and lively conversation guests were invited to gather outside the front of the Officers’ Mess for the Sunset Ceremony. As readers can see from the photographs, we were especially lucky that evening to be presented with a stunning sunset! As always the Wyton Area Voluntary Band (WAVB) performed exceptionally, delivering musical accompaniment fitting for the occasion however, the crescendo and most poignant moment of the whole event was the flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF).
As you may have heard on the news most of the BBMF aircraft have recently been grounded due to a potential fault from within the Merlin engines however, we were lucky enough to be presented with a Griffon engine aircraft. Namely the Supermarine Photo Reconnaissance Mk XIX. As most aircraft enthusiasts will undoubtedly know this aircraft is a wee bit special. What is significant about the Griffon engine? Well, not only did this increase the power of the V12 engine from a 27 Litres to 37, it gave us a different sound! Prepare to enter the gates of Valhalla through battle against the fascist Hun…The sound that struck fear into the hearts of the enemy and inspired a nation!
Feeling patriotic? Read on… Whilst you read this no doubt braced to attention, the WAVB continued to play, this angel of the skies flew above us in all directions, displaying its distinctive silver paint and red tail. She glistened in the setting sun as she soared above our heads.
Her final parting gift was when she left, as she began to exit the stage she swooped low, banking silently to the right, towards the back of the mess only to suddenly appear over our left shoulder filling the front of the mess with that deep inspiring sound, nose up heading directly into the setting sun. As she flew south in to the distance, the sound faded but just before she fell from view she banked left and right, allowing the sun to dance off the tip of her wings.
Stand at ease, relax…Moments like these are rare, however, I was particularly pleased to share it with our honoured guests. I’m sure the readers will agree it was a great way of saying thank you to all.
The Station Commander finished off proceedings by thanking all of our guests highlighting some of the significant areas where the Station had been supported recently. I will finish off by quoting the Station Commander. “Through various engagements and the continued support received from the local community, RAF Wyton and the local area is in a better, safer place. Without your continued support we couldn’t have achieved this…thank you.”