The AGM was held on Saturday 31st August 2019 at the former USAF base at Bentwaters in Suffolk. There was a very good turnout for the event, with some 45 Association members and friends present. Starting at 1000 hrs, we had the opportunity to view the Cold War Museum, which is full of artefacts and displays relating to the role of the base in 1943 through to its closure in 1993. The AGM followed at 1100 and minutes will be published in due course. Chairman Mike Ridge announced that John Russell had decided to stand down as social secretary having served for many years on the committee. Allen Vernon who had organised this year’s event was persuaded to take over as social secretary – thank you Allen! Finally, a framed Jaguar picture by Michael Rondot funded by the Association Committee was presented to the Cold War Museum Manager by our President, AVM Bob Judson.
We then moved across the airfield where aircraft restoration work is being carried out on a number of cold war jets. The Lightning attracted a lot of attention, especially from Rick Lea who had completed 3 tours on the type.
The highlight of the day was an opportunity to see Jaguar XX741 which has been restored to an excellent standard by Allen Vernon and his team of volunteers. The aircraft was able to taxy under its own power with all flight controls and hydraulics fully operational. The standard of finish is first class, and this was a unique opportunity to see a Jaguar “growling and prowling” again. Allen and his team have worked wonders over a number of years with limited funding to assemble the necessary spares and ground equipment for this restoration and have put countless manhours into the project. They deserve the highest praise. A video can be viewed here:
We then went to a local hotel for a convivial lunch. All in all, this was a great day out in beautiful weather and was enjoyed by all.