Reach for the Southend skies

The roar of the Spitfire and the low, very low, rumble of the Lancaster Bomber filled the sky and dominated proceedings at this year’s Southend Air Show, dubbed the Festival of the Air.

Isabelle loves her planes so it was great for her to see the aerobatics and tipping of wings from Grandma and Grandad’s back garden on a beautifully sunny day.

The Rolls Royce Merlin engine of the Spitfire is unmistakable,seen in thousands of films and newsreels, and sends something of a shiver.

As it passes by you almost expect it to be followed by the deafening noise of machine gun fire, especially when it took place in something of a mock dog fight.

And you’d almost be forgiven for thinking that the Lancaster, which seemed to be flying just above the tree tops, was coming down it was going so slow but at the same time was such a sight to behold as its engines crackled and popped.

It reminded me of that ‘Cadillac of the skies’ scene from Empire of the Sun where Jim, played by a young Christian Bale, sees the planes roar by at close range as he waves at the pilot.

The jets couldn’t be seen but they certainly could be heard, as if they were like an approaching thunder storm, which both startled and delighted Isabelle.

She loved waving to the biplanes and the wing walkers atop them, even shouting up to them to wave back, which of course they did.

The sky for the planes was just so clear and bright, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade sky I like to call it.


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