Lancaster bomber flypast set to boost a town's popular classic vehicle event
Ilkeston's biggest one-day event will hit new heights this year when a historic plane will salute vintage vehicles on show below.
The Avro Lancaster bomber from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is scheduled to make a flypast over the town's Market Place on Sunday August 11 while the seventh Heritage and Classic Vehicle Show takes place.
The appearance, depending on serviceability and the weather, will be an added attraction for the show, organised by Erewash Partnership Events, which regularly attracts thousands of visitors and is second only in size to the annual historic charter fair which takes place over four days.
This year's show promises to be even bigger with scooters on show for the first time alongside classic and sports cars, motorbikes, lorries, buses, tractors and even steam engines, all evoking sights, sounds and memories of years gone by.
Organisers are expanding the exhibit areas into East Street and Bath Street to take in an extra 100 vehicles in addition to the 300 last year. Although spaces were fully booked some time ago, they will be taking extra bookings.
Headline sponsors for the event include Vauxhall Repair Centre, Ron Brooks, Bentley, and Pidcock Motorcycles. Exhibit owners will not just be pleased to show off their gleaming pride and joy but also vying to win prizes.
The free event will have something for everyone. There will be a craft fair, and entertainment will be provided by Ilkeston Brass band and Erewash Sound.
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Sue Beardsley will attend as well local MP Maggie Throup. More mysterious visitors will include characters from Star Wars in the guise of the 501st Legion UK Garrison making their sixth appearance and The UKG Stig.
The event, from 10am-4pm, allows local businesses to open for customers. Also set to benefit are the RAF Benevolent Fund, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance and Ilkeston Rotary.
The Partnership has developed a strong relationship with some charities, including those helping ex-service personnel, so an appearance by the Lancaster nicknamed ‘thumper’ – one of only two in airworthy condition left in the world out of more than 7,000, the other being in Canada – will give spectators a chance to show their appreciation.
It will be the second successive year that a plane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – usually seen on state and military occasions as well as air displays – has entertained thrilled the crowds.
A Hurricane fighter flew over last year's event with those below cheering and waving to the crew and the aircraft waggling its wings in acknowledgement.
The time of the flypast by the Lancaster, which was the most famous and successful heavy bomber of the Second World War, will be announced on social media and radio nearer the time.
Ian Viles, chief executive of Erewash Partnership, said: “We are thrilled and honoured at the prospect of the historic Lancaster flying over the show. It will be an added attraction for what is a bumper family event.”
Roads around the Market Place will be closed to normal traffic as vehicles start to arrive. The closures will be in place from 5.30am to 6.30pm on Sunday August 11. Bath Street from Chapel Street to the Market Place, Wharncliffe Road from Albert Street and South Street from Coronation Street, plus Pimlico between New Lawn Road and Burns Street and East Street are the affected routes. Parking in Erewash Borough Council car parks is free on Sundays.