Category Archives: News

Save the date! The Airshow is back!

12-13th September chosen for the inaugural Southend Airshow & Military Festival has been set!

Southend Airshow Community Interest Company are proud to announce that the weekend of the 12-13th September 2015 will host the Southend Airshow & Military Festival.

A balanced and fully costed event that creates a solid foundation for the future…

Over the last six months the team dedicated themselves to one specific goal: making the 2015 show a reality by ensuring it is based on a solid financial foundation. We are delighted that we have achieved this and are able to launch an all new air spectacle in Southend that can be a feature of the Summer calendar for many years to come.

Unparalleled opportunity for companies…

Companies such as our Headline Sponsor, Toomey Motor Group have seen that Southend
Airshow & Military Festival offers the unrivaled chance to both promote your business to a diverse audience and support the local community. Southend Airshow & Military is a unique event that attracts over 300,000 people from all age groups and we are seeking companies that want access to this rare promotional opportunity. If your company is interested in joining the biggest event in the South East, contact us on

Dan Rodgers, Event Manager had this to say on the launch of Southend Airshow & Military Festival:

“Its extremely exciting to see after 18 months of hard work behind the scenes that we are finally able to confirm a date and start to realise Tom and John’s dream and bring a fantastic people’s Airshow back to Southend”

Thomas Curtis, Director of Media and Communications commented:

“There is no doubt in my mind that Southend Airshow & Military Festival will be the highlight of Summer 2015, the team has worked incredibly hard over the last year and a half to create a fully costed, workable and sustainable event that Southend can be proud of and put the town on the map. We will have more announcements to come, but for now we hope the whole town is excited as we are that the Airshow is back!”

John Delaney, Director of Sponsorships and Partnerships added:

“Its been a long haul to get here and I am delighted we can now look forward to an Airshow in Southend for 2015. The event takes place on the recognized Battle of Britain weekend but the weekend of the 12th will also be the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Its a great reminder of the British sprit to never give up no matter what the odds against may be, and our sponsors have made the return of the Airshow possible so my deepest thanks to all of them for supporting the return of the Airshow.

Headline Sponsors: Toomey Motors!

airshow_std_small_toomeyAnnouncing Southend Airshow & Military Festival Sponsored by Toomey Motor Group!

Leading car and commercial leasing chain joins Southend Airshow & Military Festival as Headline Sponsor!

Today we are incredibly excited to announce Toomey Motor Group as Headline Sponsor for Southend Airshow & Military Festival.

Toomey Motor Group, which have locations in Southend, Basildon and Orsett have agreed a wide ranging financial partnership with Southend Airshow & Military Festival that will ensure that Toomey Motor Group are the number headline brand at the event. Toomey Motor Group, who already Sponsor the RAF Typhoon Display Team, have understood the importance of Southend Airshow & Military Festival as an event that will raise awareness of their both themselves and the car brands they offer which include Renault, Nissan, Vauxhall, Dacia and Peugeot.

Whilst agreement with Toomey Motor Group is a significant one, there is still a need to raise further funds to allow the event to proceed as planned this year and Southend Airshow & Military Festival is keen to speak companies interested in becoming Sponsors.

Steve Decelis, Director of Toomey Southend had this to say:

“We have been infected by John and Tom’s enthusiasm for the event and when they approached us, we welcomed the opportunity to become involved. The local community is rightly proud of the Southend Airshow which brings many visitors to Southend from outside the area and as a local Company, employing 125 people, we are proud to demonstrate our commitment to the area and our support to the local community.”

He continued:

“The Airshow is one of the biggest events in the local community calendar, a great family event which also benefits local businesses. We are delighted to be able to play our part in promoting both the show and Toomey brand awareness.”

Thomas Curtis had this to say:

“We are incredibly excited to have Toomey Motor Group as Headline Sponsor, they have recognized the unique brand and advertising opportunity provided by Southend Airshow & Military Festival. Whilst we still have funds to raise ahead of the upcoming deadline, we will continue to work hard to get the event across the line.”

John Delaney added:

“Since we first started putting together the plans to bring back the airshow I’ve always believed we would be able to secure a headline sponsor due to the high profile and significance of the event and the opportunities it presents.

He continued:

“I am particularly pleased that a substantial local company like Toomeys has come forward to seize the opportunity presented by Southend Airshow & Military Festival. Toomeys is the leading commercial and consumer vehicle leasing provider in the region and highly regarded in the town. I am glad that the community and local businesses are coming together to support both the Southend-On-Sea and Southend Airshow & Military Festival.



Toomey Motor Group

In 1929 a young man by the name of Joseph Toomey, in true entrepreneurial spirit, opened a new business, Laindon Accumulators, in Laindon, Essex, selling motor cycles. Thus was born the Company which is so well known in Essex, as “Toomeys”. From this fledgling enterprise grew the Laindon Holdings Group of Companies.

The Royal Air Force Typhoon Display Team

The 2014 Typhoon Display is flown by 29 (Reserve) Squadron from RAF Coningsby. It showcases the incredible performance of the aircraft and also demonstrates the dedication, professionalism and excellence of the RAF personnel who fly, maintain and support Typhoon operations in the UK and across the world.

Southend Airshow and Military Festival

Southend Airshow started in May 1986 and is one of Europe’s largest free airshows, 2013 would have marked its 28th year. It was cancelled by Southend-On-Sea borough Council in 2013 and a small team of individuals are now working to return the event to Southend with private finance.

Southend Airshow CIC

Southend Airshow Community Interest Company was formed in July 2013 to create and run the Southend Airshow and Military Festival, it’s directors are John Delaney, Thomas Curtis and Nora Goodman MBE.


Airshow Bear name selected, meet Gibson!


The official Southend Airshow & Military Festival Bear has been on sale for nearly two months and has seen orders from all over the UK, and even from New Zealand!

Designed and produced by Service Sponsor Teddy Station, the official bear has everything he needs to take to the skies including a flying helmet with brown replica goggles, a brown leatherette jacket with a sheepskin collar, khaki shorts and proudly wears the Southend Airshow & Military Festival logo on his T-Shirt. However he lacked one thing – a name!

We launched a competition in conjunction with The Echo newspaper and Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome to find a name for our mascot. After working through the numerous entries, we are proud to announce that the winning name is Gibson.

The name Gibson was chosen to pay tribute to Guy Penrose Gibson Wing Commander of 617 Squadron, better known as the Dam Busters. 617 Squadron has recently retired from active duty and will return in 2015 as the first Squadron to fly the new Lighting II aircraft.

The winning name was selected by Marian Outram, Marian will receive her own Gibson bear to treasure, a tour of Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome and a flight in a Tiger Moth!

Marian had this to say on why she chose the name:

“I am so surprised that the name wasn’t chosen by a great many people. It just seemed so appropriate – especially with the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters. My first idea was Biggles, but that was far too obvious. Besides – our cat is called Biggles. There had been a program on TV that we had watched and of course it had mentioned the Dam Busters and Guy Gibson, and it just seemed so obvious a choice.“

She continued:

“Last year the guys at work were talking about the Southend Air Show and how great it was. A couple of them were making plans to go and see it and I had to tell them it had been cancelled. They were very shocked and could not understand the council’s reasoning, as it was a brilliant tourist attraction. I am sure the fall out from the cancellation took them completely by surprise. I certainly wish you all good luck for the future.”

Thomas Curtis had this to say:

“As a new dad I know that picking a name is tough, we were amazed at the number of fantastic entries we received from the community and we wanted to take our time to find that was just right. Gibson is a fantastic name, Marian has chosen a name that is both original and a fitting tribute to one of the great Squadrons of the Royal Air Force.”

John Delaney added:

“We had hundreds and hundreds of entries for the competition with lots of fantastic suggestions but in the end “Gibson” stood out and also seemed the most fitting especially as we choose the winner on the last day 617 Squadron flew before the RAF disband the famous Dambusters Squadron.”

You can buy your very own Gibson online or by visiting the Teddy Station in the Victoria Shopping Center.

Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome

CO84565_01 airshow meet LS

Russell Savory from Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome joins Southend Airshow & Military festival 2014 to make World War One a major feature of new Airshow.

2014 is the the centenary of World War One and to commemorate the start of the great war Southend Airshow & Military Festival is proud to announce its partnership with Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome.

Russell Savory from Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome is joining the Southend Airshow & Miltary Festival team as WWI Operations Director and will lead World War One activities for the event. Russell brings a wealth of talent and experience and is one of the leading voices in the fight to save WW1 heritages sites.

Russell from Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome commenting on joining the Airshow team said:

“I’m very pleased to be given the opportunity to be involved with it all by looking after the Great War Section – having these aircraft visiting Stow at this special time, being the centenary of the Great War, will be a great honour. I am sure the Southend & Military Festival has a great future.”

The partnership with the historic Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome based near Maldon, Essex will provide Southend Airshow & Military Festival with airstrips, facilities and entertainment to pilots of WW1 era craft over the weekend of the show. With access to a grass airfield secured Southend Airshow and Military Festival can now feature a wider range of WW1 aircraft that are only capable of landing on grass runways.

Thomas Curtis commented:

“We are incredibly excited about Russell joining the team, his work on restoring Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome has been truly outstanding and we know that his expertise in the area will make our WW1 activities something the entire county can be proud of.”

John Delaney added:

“One of the driving forces behind our efforts to bring back the Airshow combined with a celebration of our military has been the desire to educate younger generations about our history & the bravery of our military both then & now. We wanted to showcase & commemorate the 100th anniversary of WW1 within our event so I am delighted to have forged such a close relationship with Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome enabling us to include a significant WWI tribute with air & ground displays within our event .”

Read all about it in the Echo!


The Echo, which has been a firm supporter of our activities has once again come up trumps in their coverage of our announcement that London Southend Airport back Southend Airshow & Military Festival!

The annual extravaganza is being revived by volunteers Tom Curtis and John Delaney – who are giving up their time to work on the project.

The Echo is backing them too.

And now Southend Airport has thrown its support behind the event and will be helping the show by offering a number of its services for free, or at a heavily discounted rate, so the show can go ahead.

Head over to the Echo website to read all about it!

Southend Airshow and Military Festival on BBC News website!


Here at HQ we are working hard to raise awareness about the event, earlier today Tom spoke with Mary-Jane Cullen from BBC News all about the event and what we are trying to achieve:

“The Southend air show, axed by a council due to budget constraints, is to be brought back next year, thanks to a group of volunteers. The borough council cancelled the air show in March as part of a bid to save £10m in order to balance its books…”

Read more on the BBC website!