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2007 saw the 10th Revival Meeting take place at Goodwood Motor Circuit in East Sussex. Usually billed as “A Magical Step Back In Time” this event has a totally different feel to the annual Festival Of Speed in the grounds of Goodwood House earlier in the summer. That event is a showcase for the whole of motorsport from its earliest days right through to the latest Formula 1 cars. Simon Fenwick reports for Flightline UK. All photography copyright of author unless stated otherwise.

Goodwood Style
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Hurricane Tribute
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OFMC Pair
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TFC Cats
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The Freddie March Trophy
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Spitfire!
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However, the Revival meeting held each year in September only permits racing for cars of the period that the track was originally open, namely 1948 to 1966. The only exception to this is the race for Brooklands cars due to the fact that Freddie March raced at The Track before its closure in 1939. (see sidebar for more details on the racing activities)

This meeting is unique in the world of historic motor racing in as much as  not only are the cars ‘in period’ but so to are the majority of the people that go, whether they be owners, drivers, staff or visitors. Most take the trouble to dress the part – ladies in posh frocks and gentlemen in tweeds or, as is becoming more common, period uniforms of British or American forces. It’s all part of the ‘theatre’ that IS the Goodwood Revival. In fact, if you really want to feel out of place, then turn up in t-shirt, jeans and baseball cap!

The circuit itself was laid out on the perimeter track of the wartime airfield RAF Westhamphnett. It was from the airfield that Douglas Bader set off on his final sortie and a bronze statue was unveiled some years ago and is in pride of place outside the Flying Club today. Flying has always been a part of the Goodwood scene and today the Flying Club is thriving.

When Lord March decided to restore the circuit to its former glory, it was always his intention to do so as close as safely possible to its period look. So there are no modern pit buildings and no shiny Armco barriers lining the track. Instead there is a recreation of an early pitlane and tyre barriers are hidden behind special green matting.

It was always the intention to include special air displays as an integral part of all Revival Meetings and over the years some stunning displays have been seen. These originally were organised by Ray Hanna and his son Mark and no one who was there will ever forget Ray flying Spitfire MH434 down the pit straight below the height of the grandstands at the launch of the first Revival back in 1998.

Each day there are six aerial slots with different combinations of aircraft taking part in each. In 2007, Old Flying Machine Company brought along Spitfire IX MH434 and P-51 ‘Ferocious Frankie’ with Lee Proudfoot and Alister Kay. The Fighter Collection brought along their ‘cats’ – Wildcat, Hellcat and the mighty Bearcat – which gave their very tight formation display before breaking off for solo displays. John Romain brought along Tom Blair’s ‘tropicalised’ Spitfire (JG891) – which spent most of the weekend parked up as set dressing next to the Driver’s Club -  and Hurricane XII (BD707) which gave an outstanding and graceful display in the hands of ‘Rats’ Ratcliffe, just two weeks before the tragic accident which claimed the life of Brian Brown at Shoreham. Also present were the ‘Spirit of Kent’ Spitfire (TA805) and Phil O’Dell brought in the Rolls-Royce PRXIX (PS853) which opened the proceedings on the Sunday morning.

The beauty of the Goodwood display line is its curving nature. This gives plenty of opportunity for the pilots to show off the aircraft to their best and at times nicely close up – handy on a windy day so that huge lenses aren’t usually needed! The area around the Flying Club and Spitfire Bar were always packed whenever the sound of an aircraft engine could be heard and faces of all ages turned skywards as these wonderful warbirds were flown through from all directions with perfect topside views. Then, at the end of each display, each aircraft is taxyed back to the Club, very close to the crowdline and each pilot revels in the applause that always comes their way.

With the aircraft on the ground, the whole place takes on the feel of a wartime airfield with re-enactors taking the part of groundcrew, medics and so on and period vehicles and some classic cars just add to the atmosphere.

As a flying finale, all the aircraft did a stream takeoff and after a quick circuit, ‘beat up’ the airfield before disappearing over the South Downs to return to their various bases.

“FREDDIE MARCH SPIRIT OF AVIATION”

FULL LIST OF PARTICIPANTS IN “The Freddie March Spirit Of Aviation 2007”

1935

DH Tiger Moth

G-ADXT

Roger Hanauer

1936

Percival Mew Gull

G-AEXF

Tony Smith

1938

Foster-Wikner Wicko

G-AFJB

Joe Dible

1940

Bücker BÜ 133 Jungmeister

G-BUKK

Edward McEntree

1941

Ryan PT-22 Recruit

G-BYPY

Tracey Curtis-Taylor

1942

Naval Aircraft Factory N3N-3

G-ONAF

James Birnie

1942

Hawker Hurricane XII

G-HURI/ ‘Z5140’

Guy Black

1943

Boeing A75N1 Stearman

N65200

Robin Lucas

1944

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

N1944A

Tony Bianchi

1946

Stampe SV-4C

G-BIMO

Ricky Roberts

1946

Auster J/2 Arrow

G-BEAH

Alan Gray

1947

Tipsy Trainer

G-AISA

Stephen Slater

1947

Tipsy Belfair

G-APIE

David Beale

1947

Luscombe 8A Silvaire

G-AKTI

James May (Top Gear)

1950

DHC Chipmunk T.10

G-AOFE/ WB702

Joe Quinn

1952

Beech 18 Expeditor

G-BKGM/ ‘HB275’

Andrew Foan

1953

NA Harvard IV

G-RAIX/ KF584

Malcolm Paul

1955

CASA 1-131E Jüngmann

G-BPVW

Cyrille & Jan-Willem Labeij

1956

Auster AOP.9

XR244

Army Historic Aircraft Flight

1957

Beech H35 Bonanza

G-ASJL

Andrew Orchard

1961

DHC Beaver AL.1

XP820

Army Historic Aircraft Flight

1962

Cessna 175 Skylark

PH-WBR

Chris Goezinne

1964

Dornier Do28 Skyservant

G-ASUR

Peter Dyson

1965

LET L-2000Morava

OK-RHJ

Richard Jowett

This year for the first time there was a worthy addition to the aviation content of the meeting in the form of the “Freddie March Spirit Of Aviation”. As well as being a racer, Freddie March, the grandfather of the current Lord March, was a flyer  and designed and built his own aircraft. Unfortunately though no examples now exist. The Spirit Of Aviation was a separate area set aside where invited examples of some of the rarest and most elegant aircraft seen for a long time were shown without any restrictive barriers or ropes. These ranged from the tiny Percival Mew Gull raced by Alex Henshaw to Tony Bianchi’s genuine D-Day veteran Douglas C-47A Skytrain which had a constant stream of people wanting to see inside. The plan is that this will become an annual ‘concours’ event and if as successful as the motoring “Cartier Style et Luxe” at the Festival of Speed, will be much sought after for the trophy cabinet. In the end, 24 aircraft made it to Goodwood for this first event and the winner was the unique and immaculate Foster-Wikner Wicko (G-AFJB) of Joe Dible. Other notable or unusual entrants were a Dornier Skyservant with its unusual wing-form, the rare sight of two Tipsys together and a totally immaculate and very rare, but immaculate even down to a ‘period’ smell inside the cabin, LET Morava. The judges were all expert aviation historians and they were working to very strict eligibility guidelines: principally that the aircraft must be airworthy (so no trailered examples here); built no later than 1966 (the same cut-off year as for cars permitted to race at the Revival Meeting). Consideration also had to be made for condition, originality, flight time, flight experience and maintenance record.

So, that was the Goodwood Revival for 2007. One of the friendliest meetings you’ll ever go to. Most who go for the first time can’t believe what the event is like and words simply do justice to the atmosphere.

To quote Lord March “The Revival is the only event in the world set entirely to a period theme with every detail faithful to the golden age of style, grace and glamour. No other sporting event anywhere takes place in period fashions on such a vast scale. It is pure theatre.”

Motoring Revival

Goodwood's motor cicuit played host to some spectacular racing from some very exciting historic machinery. Ian Wilson of Autographracing captured the action.

It is certainly an event that every petrolhead, whether the interest is in events on the track or in the air should experience at least once. Many though never actually see any of the action and are happy just to soak up the atmosphere, lazing back on one of the lawns listening to the music, eating smoked salmon and sipping Pimms or Verve Clicquot!

The 2008 Revival takes place over the weekend of 19th – 21st September and promises to be extra special. Not only is it the 10th anniversary of the first Revival Meeting, but also the 60th anniversary of the original opening of the circuit. It is also planned that a very special aviation event will also be celebrated. 16th October sees the centenary of powered flight in the UK. It was on that day in 1908 that S F Cody undertook his momentous flight from Farnborough Common in Hampshire. Currently under construction is a flying replica of that aircraft and it is hoped to celebrate the centenary with a flight from Goodwood airfield.

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