Wings Over Carew at Cheriton!
It’s been an amazing week having just returned from Pembrokshire, South Wales. Last Saturday I was engaged to perform for the “Wings Over Carew” event which takes place annually at The Control Tower, Cheriton, Carew. The last time I performed there was back in 2018 for “Millfest”, so it was thrilling to be invited back now things are starting to open up again after the pandemic.
This was my third visit to the control tower and there is a wonderful community of local people who work especially hard to maintain the control tower as a museum which is set out just as it
Out-side the Control Tower!
would have been during the second world war. The Control Tower is a unique wartime airfield museum which has been lovingly restored and where visitors can enjoy a huge array of exhibits including the Stanton Air Raid Shelter, military uniforms, RAF maps, radio equipment, ration books, Bren gun, Enfield rifle and many more.
It was great to be back and meet up with so many friends. Especially as I had the pleasure of staying with my friends Mike and Sue who very kindly invited me to stay with them at their Farm House
By the Stage all Dressed for My Glamour Set!
in Llanyeanfn. It was wonderful to see them again after so many years and catch up on old times. Thank-you Sue and Mike for your fabulous hospitality and for making me feel so welcombe I couldn’t have wished for anything more – you were amazing!
There is a wonderful community spirit in Pembrokshire and the “Wings Over Carew” was very well attended despite the tempestuous Saturday weather. The organisers were extremely worried because the Red Falcons parachute display had to be cancelled due to the high winds and for parachute safety. I had been booked to
Meeting Up with Re-enactors!
perform 3 x 45 minute shows during the day and later that night at the Saturday Night Dance which was taking place at The Snooty Fox at Martletwy, Narberth.
The show must go on what ever the weather and on Saturday we had it all, rain followed by sunshine, more rain and then the wind as it started to get stronger and blew the clouds away. Mike and Sue had erected me an out-door stage which took quite a battering from the Walsh wind, however I played on regardless as I performed my three sets. I opened with my WAAF show “Straighten up and Fly Right”, followed by a Glamour Hollywood set and
I concluded with my American “GI Jive” WAC show.
Events can be pretty intense with very little time to spear so I stayed in my WAC uniform to open my evening show and then changed into my 1940s evening dress for the second set. I’d never thought of doing an evening show like that before but my WAC uniform worked well especially as we often associate Big Band and Swing with America. It was a lovely evening as I sang all my favourites while people danced the night away.
Welcome to Wales as an American WAC!
Mike and Sue very kindly allowed me to stay for an extra day and since returning home from Wales I’ve had shows every-day. I’m now all set for tomorrow’s show at Bletchley Park and I have a terrific show planned. This year I’m returning with my WAAF show “Straighten Up and Fly Right” and I’m going to be on stage from 12 noon. I’m also performing Hollywood favorites and a selection of tunes from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, a few postmodern surprises and I’m concluding with a patriotic Best of British finally. So something for every-one!
Meeting Up with the Cadets!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for fine weather but the weather report looks like we may have scattered showers. If that is the case then I will be relocating to the ball room. To find out more about my show please click the link below and it will be delightful to see you.
Entrance to my concert is included in the museum admission price and any tickets purchased are valid for a whole year, so you can come back as many times as you like within twelve months if
The Memorial Service!
you are not able to see everything on your first visit.
I’m very fortunate that as a professional entertainer I get to visit lots of wonderful places. It’s a huge privilege to be chosen to perform at Bletchley Park and of course it’s famous for enigma and code breaking. The control tower at Cheriton has an interesting history too and I’ve been doing some research to find out more.
It was in April 1938 that the first steps were taken to acquire 600 acres of land east of Carew
On Stage for the Saturday Night Dance!
Cheriton for the construction of a new airfield A number of local farms and businesses were affected by this acquisition by the Air Ministry.
The site of the new airfield was on the same land occupied by the First World War royal naval airship station known as Pembroke or sometimes Milton. The airship station used the same prime farming land, but only 298 acres and operated between 1916 and 1920. The reason for the name change from that of the First World War was because Pembroke was easily confused with the R.A.F. flying boat base in Pembroke Dock.
Meeting Up With Sue & Mike at the Dance!
And the second name used – Milton was the same name as that of the radar station in Oxfordshire.
During its time as a Coastal Command airfield Carew Cheriton came under the control of 15 group based at Plymouth. A transfer to Technical Training Command took place in October 1942. The airfield finally closed in November 1945.
Today the airfield has been returned to agricultural and light industrial use with the main building complex area being cleared in the mid sixties. However, many reminders of life as a
All Dressed Up for The Dance!
wartime airfield can still be found today and the landscape holds a wealth of interesting structures in this period of history or architecture. Many of the wartime runways still remain and are in constant use for the Sunday market and other public events incorporating the control tower museum.
I shall leave you with a few of my photos from the weekend. Keep Following Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉
Bletchley Park 12th August 23