The Royal Air Force Mini Club commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a series of events and charity fundraising activities.
Three special edition Minis were created from members and supporters vehicles to showcase the events and were based on the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight of the Royal Air Force.
NEVER IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN CONFLICT
has so much been owed by so many to so few
The Battle of Britain Mini Run
Plans began in 2014 to create a charity rally visiting the key locations around London, involved in the Battle. With only 50 spaces available for both classic and modern Minis, applications soon came in and the run was fully booked within a couple of months. Each team had to raise an amount for our chosen charity before joining, and the more they raise the higher the rank they received from Pilot Officer to Wing Commander. The chosen charity was the Royal Air Forces Association who are dedicated to supporting the RAF family, from new recruits to WW2 veterans, including those involved in the Battle of Britain.
In just one day the wing of Minis had to make their way across the busy Capital to the white cliffs of Dover. The starting point was 60ft underground at the RAF Uxbridge Battle of Britain Bunker. An underground operations room at RAF Uxbridge, formerly used by No. 11 Group Fighter Command during the Second World War. Fighter aircraft operations were controlled from there throughout the War, but most notably during the Battle of Britain. The Squadron received a tour of the site from the generosity of the volunteer staff, and received their run packs before heading off to stage 2 of the run. The packs included a full decal set and run plaque, which were created and supplied by Martin Cull at Sticky Fingers Decals. These were provided with a secret document folder with the details of the route, along with the challenge for our navigators to spot various Luftwaffe Squadrons, whilst guiding our pilots on the correct course.
From there they headed north to RAF Bentley Priory, famous as the headquarters of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain.
The next stage led the group towards the Capital, and what is known as the Battle of Britain Walk, only this time it would would be in the little Mini. A daunting task for some of the pilots as they have never been through London’s busy traffic.
Exhausted and ready for some light refreshment, the group headed towards their forward operating base to recover, refuel and reload. RAF Kenley is one of the few untouched Battle of Britain airfields left today and on site is a RAFA Branch who run the Portcullis Club. The volunteer members at the branch, and the club’s support team, set up a field kitchen and an opportunity to regroup before the big push.
SCRAMBLE! The entire squadron was formed up and dispatched towards the coast for their final flight. An hours transit led them to the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel Le Ferne, an amazing tribute to the few positioned right on the channel cliffs. Here the group formed up under the skies where some of the fiercest aerial battles took place. A moment of silence and remembrance took place to sound of last post, and our serving members performed a sunset ceremony to lower the ensign to signify the end of the event.
A medal ceremony took place after the event was closed, the Meritorious Medal for most funds raised went to Neil Smith for raising nearly £600 and achieved the rank of Wing Commander for the run. A special clasp was awarded to the top 5 fundraisers raising nearly £3000 in total.
The Gallantry Medal was awarded to the person who had gone above and beyond what was expected, and was given to Adam Goodman, who not only spent the day saving broken down cars but also completely renovated his entire monster truck mini to resemble a Lancaster Bomber.
All in all, our pilots and navigators had worked so hard all year to fundraise for the event and our final total hit was over £7000 for the charity. It was a fantastic day and on behalf of the Royal Air Force Mini Club, and the Royal Air Forces Association, a huge thank you goes out to every participant; the fundraisers, the support team and volunteers at each stage. The dedication of everyone involved ensured the run was a success, and more importantly, created a proper tribute in memory of the few.
Silverstone Classic - RAF Village
The organisers of the Rock and Racing event joined the RAFMC in the 75th commemorations by creating an RAF Village in the heart of the race circuit. The stand included a selection of RAFMC and supporting clubs Mini’s including a gleaming red white and blue trio, Special Edition Hurricane Mini and some very rare examples, one of which was included in Mike Brewers Car Clinic. A display of Motor Sport Mini’s set up including a very rare Domino HTR and on loan from SU Carbs a special Battle of Britain Mighty Mini. Backing up the site was a large involvement from the Royal Air Force’s Association who were fundraising throughout the event.
The heart of the stand was without doubt the main feature, a full size Spitfire with working engine. The team would fire up the beast every hour and allowing visitors to take a ride.
The event ended with the RAFMC and RAFA presenting an award for the bravest driver of the Battle of Britain races organised but the Masters Series.
The RAF Village won the Mervyn Garton ‘Scarf and Goggles’ Award for the best infield display.