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5F enjoy Battle Proms at Althorp Park

Article posted: Aug 15, 2012 by Sqn Ldr Mayoh-Smith

On Saturday 11th August, staff and cadets from 5F (Northampton) gathered at Althorp Park, home of the Spencer family for over 500 years, to lend their support to the organisers of the Battle Proms. The Battle Proms are the UK’s premier classical picnic proms with Spitfire, cannons, cavalry and fireworks displays accompanied by music played by the New English Concert Orchestra. The orchestra was joined at times by singer Denise Leigh and the whole show compered by Pam Rhodes.

5F were this year helping proms-goers to safely negotiate the route from car parks to auditorium area and give assistance, if required, to those who were over loaded with picnic paraphernalia. Each team of cadets & staff was also accompanied by an RAF Reservist armed with a collecting tin, who encouraged proms goers to donate to the two charities supported by Battle Proms – RAFA Wings Appeal and Combat Stress.
Even though the gates did not open until 1615, the public started arriving around 1400 (all keen to get a good pitch!). Certainly by 1700 it seemed that the majority of the 5,500 ticket holders were in and settled for the evening.

At 1830, the world renowned, Northamptonshire based, Blades Aerobatic display team performed a dynamic display much to the delight of cadets, staff and proms-goers alike.

At 1925, the Diamond Jubilee Gun Salute marked the start of the musical evening when a volley of shots was fired from an authentic vintage field gun by the English Field Artillery in honour of the Queens Diamond jubilee.

It was a great honour for 5F to be asked by the organisers to form up either side of the front of stage for this part
of the show especially as directly following the Diamond Jubilee Salute there then followed a display by the Grace Spitfire ML407, piloted by Carolyn Grace, the only female Spitfire pilot in the world. . p=.

All who attended thoroughly enjoyed the evening – from the lovely weather to the music, from the 193 canons that accompanied Beethoven’s Battle Symphony to the proms style sing along & flag waving to the fantastic fire work display to close the event.

During the afternoon and evening many positive comments were received concerning the cadets and how hard they had worked, how smart they looked and how polite they were.

Well done 5F.