First of the Month (FOTM) groups take place all over the world and in July, the Dorchester group, led by Brian (Swampy) Marsh, held one with a difference. Their concept was quite straightforward, ‘let’s have a big one and make it a bit special. Most importantly, at the same time let’s raise some funds for Navy Wings who have done brilliantly to get through Covid unscathed and are keeping our historic Royal Navy aircraft in the sky both as a fitting memory and inspiration to future Royal Naval aviators’.
The meeting was held in Bob and Immy Turner’s garden by the river Wey just north of Weymouth. Everyone brought their own refreshments and donations were made to Navy Wings. Over 80 FAAOA members and guests attended and when all were gathered, and the dits were being spun among old friends, the Navy Wings Wasp sped into land in the field next door. Out stepped our VIP guests, Sir George and Lady Zambellas. Many old Waspies were able to view the aircraft, courtesy of Stevie Daniels and Andy Vanes. Shortly afterwards an immaculate heritage formation, Al McLaren (Seafire) and Dave Mackay (Harvard) flew through the overhead. Alistair then flew some beautiful manoeuvres in the glorious evening sunshine, not only thrilling our FOTM Group, but also the residents of north Weymouth and Upwey.
Much later, to round off the evening in true FAA fashion, Trophies were awarded, presented by Sir George. These included the Traveller’s Trophy, awarded to the person who had travelled the furthest to attend the event, which was presented to Chris Rowbottom who had travelled from Cambridge. Others came from Bristol and a great team led by Martin Reid and Mike Shrives, came from Fareham.