Ray Bushell will be the first to leave the runway as this season’s spring series of Sunday afternoon talks at The Wing get underway.
Ray, Operations Manager with Biggin Hill-based Fly a Spitfire, operated by The Heritage Hanger, will lead the line with a talk on Sunday 19 February, taking off at 2.30pm in the Geoffrey Page Centre.
He will tell the story of RAF Biggin Hill from its original concept as an airfield in 1917 through to the end of hostilities in 1945 and talk briefly about two significant squadrons that served at what is possibly the south east’s best-known wartime airfield.
Ray, who has been with the company for a little over five years, will also give the audience a general overview of what goes on at The Heritage Hanger, which includes aircraft restoration and passenger flights.
He started as a volunteer before working on part-time ground crew duties, and took on the full-time role of Operations Manager in 2019. He has since expanded the team to 12 people in both part-time and voluntary roles.
Ray’s role includes flight/operations planning, the refuelling programme for each day's operations, ensuring appropriate staffing levels for each week and looking after all aspects of health and safety and fire/first aid training as well as overall customer service/satisfaction.
Ray's talk will be followed on Sunday 26 February by a talk by Air Marshal Black Robertson CBE FRAeS FRSA RAF (rtd) entitled Reflections on the Battle of Britain.
Air Marshal Robertson, author of Fighters in the Blood and A Spitfire Named Connie, will be reflecting on lesser-known aspects of the Battle of Britain, particularly those individuals and organisations whose largely unheralded contributions helped ensure the nation’s survival.
The season continues with a talk on Sunday 5 March by Adam Fraser and Catherine Tappenden, who will deliver a presentation on the world record-breaking flight from Lympne to Cairo in June 1919 by a young Canadian RAF pilot, Harry Yates.
On Sunday 19 March, Jo Roger (Instagram’s That Spitfire Bird) and Peter Hall will deliver a presentation entitled A Bird’s Eye View of Vintage Aviation, and the series will conclude the following week when Artur Bildziuk delivers what promises to be a fascinating talk on the history of Polish Eagles on London Mayoral Chains.
With limited capacity at all this season’s talks, early booking is recommended.
Friend of the Few (Hurricane) Free Entry
Friend of the Few (Spitfire) £5
Guest of Friend of the Few (max one per friend) £6
Non-members of Friends of the Few £12.
For more details or to book, phone 01303 249292 or email firstname.lastname@example.org