These unusual exhibits are part of the show’s tribute to our Service personnel, past and present, as show organisers join forces with the Royal British Legion (RBL) to celebrate their 90th anniversary in the “Great Poppy Party Weekend” (10th-12th June).
Gillie Jackson, Show Organiser said “The Boat Show is a very popular event within the local community and we are delighted to be able to support the RBL in such a positive way by incorporating their birthday celebrations into our event.”
She continued, “The aircraft and Dunkirk Little Ships - complete with bullet holes - really are quite a sight and we are privileged to have such icons of the 2nd World War at the show, particularly at a time when we are paying tribute to the tremendous ongoing work of the Legion.”
Mark Weldon, County Manager for Berkshire Royal British Legion, will officially open the Boat Show on Saturday 11th June at 12 noon, supported by a Standard Bearing display team who represent the work of the Legion at ceremonial events.Mark said “The Legion is thrilled to be so closely associated with Beale Park.Berkshire has suffered a disproportionate percentage of casualties from the recent conflicts and the response and support for our Armed Forces from the public is reflected in the County’s record fundraising totals.It is not only an honour to open this prestigious Boat show but it provides an opportunity to thank the people of Berkshire for their generosity coinciding perfectly with the highlight of our 90th Anniversary year – The Great Poppy Party Weekend.”
The Beale Park Boat Show offers something for everyone with boats of all shapes and sizes - old and new - FREE boat trips, displays on the lake, demonstrations, classic cars, crafts, live music, food court and family entertainment–making it an entertaining day out, set against the stunning backdrop of the River Thames.Key attractions
Spitfire and Hurricane
As the Spitfire celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, the replica planes from Spitfire Green Ltd, based in Kent, are currently touring the country to commemorate the extraordinary lives of those who braved the Battle of Britain in 1940 and will be at the Boat Show for all three days.
Visitors will have the opportunity to talk to the aircrafts’ owners as well as being offered the chance to climb inside the cockpit to have their photograph taken in RAF pilot’s outfits.Please note additional charges apply (£15 per person).
For further information visit: www.battleofbritainexperience.co.uk
Dunkirk Little Ships
There will be two Dunkirk Little Ships at this year’s show – the Devon Belle and MB278 and Garth, a 1945, RASC 34 Fast Patrol Boat.
Built in 1938, the “Devon Belle” was one of many Dunkirk Little Ships which helped to evacuate 300,000 Allied troops in 1940.
She stayed with the Royal Navy and had a role with “Mulberry Harbours” which was built on the South coast and towed to Normandy after D-day to service the invasion.
After the war she became a pleasure cruiser in Plymouth and Dartmouth until 1999 when she came to the Thames.
Visitors to the show will have the opportunity to venture out on the “Devon Belle” as she is providing the event’s “Free Boat Trips” service on the River Thames.
Owned by Thames Rivercruise at Caversham, the boat can often be seen cruising the Thames as part of its fleet of pleasure cruises.
“MB278” Dunkirk Little Ship, will be on display at this year’s show, complete with bullet holes from her participation during the Dunkirk crossings.This historic boat is being exhibited for the first time at the Lower Basildon event, by Henley Sales and Charter Ltd.
MB278 was built by W.White & Sons of Cowes on the Isle of Wight, during the early months of World War 1. It has since survived an attack in the Aegean Sea in 1918 and, after five years in Malta, joined the battleship ‘Iron Duke’ in the Mediterranean.
Its first refit was carried out in Malta in 1929 where she received a new 22hp ferry engine before joining ‘HMS Queen Elizabeth’ in 1930, the first of the ‘fast battleships’.
Just before World War II, she was assigned to ‘HMS Erebus’ and nearly missed Dunkirk when she was crushed in an accident in Portsmouth.Garth
“Garth”, a RASC 34 Fast Patrol Boat, built in 1945, was involved in many naval voyages including its first assignment to Venice, in Italy, as part of our Occupation at the end of the war.It served as a Command boat in Egypt, in charge of the landing craft which, over a two year period, disposed of our country’s materials of war, including aircraft, tanks and “Garth” artillery.It also spent four years in Hong Kong fending off the immigrants trying to reach the island by sea.
Recently restored at Canvey Island by John Cook, “Garth’s” owner and Peter Jackman, it will make the long trip up the Thames, navigating its way through the non-tidal river, passing through over 20 locks from Teddington to the Show - complete with shiny new paint work.
Royal British Legion – “The Great Poppy Party Weekend”
The Royal British Legion is inviting Berkshire to join “The Great Poppy Party Weekend”, a three-day summer celebration of the charity’s 90th Anniversary year, to help raise £1 million for our Armed Forces.
“The Great Poppy Party Weekend” will take place on June 10th, 11th and 12th 2011 and people nationwide are being encouraged to be as creative as possible with their party ideas.The Legion is also asking party organisers to think of imaginative ways of raising vital funds to support our Armed Forces’ family.
Whether it’s asking people to donate at the entrance or through a raffle, all the money raised from the “Great Poppy Party Weekend will go towards meeting the Legion’s overall target of raising £90 million in its 90th Anniversary year.
For further information about the “Great Poppy Party Weekend” visit the website www.thegreatpoppypartyweekend.org.uk and about the Legion in Berkshire, visit their website http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/berkshire or call 0118 976 1551.
The Royal British Legion is the nation's leading Armed Forces charity, providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is also the national Custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem, the red poppy. www.britishlegion.org.uk