Category Archives: Uncategorized

End of the runway.

As you know, a few months back we hit a roadblock in our 2015 event. Although most aspects of the event were proceeding apace (we had secured an great flight card including the Red Arrows and the last display of the Vulcan among others), we were forced to relocate the event due to unexpected costs from Southend Council and related services.

Since then we have been working all hours to locate a suitable venue both in and out of Southend for this years event. This was a controversial act however, we decided that not trying to save this event would have been a mistake and the fact that we were so close meant that we would have regretted not at least making the attempt.

I wish we could say today that we had secured that venue and we would have an Airshow this year but that is not the case. Although negotiations with great a location were developing, we could not get it signed by last Friday when a deadline placed upon us for RAF commitments expired.

This has been a two year project to return an Airshow to our seaside town. A labour of love that has meant evenings and early mornings. One that has taken hundreds of hours of our personal time away from friends and family (I remember being on the radio to promote the campaign on the due date of my first child.) and required vacations from work.

We now have to face the reality that although there may be other Airshows in Essex in the coming years, we will not have an Airshow in Southend.

Its been quite a journey, from two people and a Facebook campaign to  a team of nearly twenty and over twenty thousand supporters. To those that donated to the cause we thank you and we will we will donate that money to our nominated charities. To our sponsors I would like to thank you for your assistance and aid. To our community, I apologise for letting you down, it was your support that even made this crazy idea a remote possibility.

Though we were ultimately unsuccessful I stand by our effort, I still believe in Southend and think that is a fantastic town, one that has so much to offer. It is just a shame that we will not have a marquee event to promote it.

Thomas Curtis

Event location under review





Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control it is no longer possible to host the event with Southend, at least for this year. We are not giving up and have already started discussions with suitable venues yesterday, we hope to have an announcement in the next week or so.

As mentioned on BBC Look East the business case for the show in Southend just didn’t add up, we were facing high costs for marshaling, water support, policing & fire safety and road closures, that would have impacted the amount and quality of aircraft we would have featured at the show.

This decision is not an easy one to take but we had a choice, either cancel the event or seek an alternative venue where those costs could be controlled or reduced.

We thank you and our Sponsors for all the support in the last few years and hope that you’ll stay with us as we work to bring an airshow back to the South Essex area.

Donations page now live!


We are proud to announce that the Southend Airshow & Military Festival have partnered with BmyCharity and Help for Heroes to launch the official Southend Airshow & Military Festival donations page.

Bmycharity, which is owned by Help for Heroes has been providing an online fundraising service for charities for over 12 years making Southend Airshow & Military Festival the first ever Community Interest Company to be featured on the site. Donations made to the page will go towards the current 2014 event funding goal of £70,000.

There is just nine weeks to hit our target, we have raised an amazing £150,000 so far and are so close to achieving our goal, but we need to raise a further £70,000 or there will be no Airshow in 2014.

If we fail to meet the targets, the funds raised through donations will be allocated to our five chosen charities: Vulcan Restoration Trust, Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association (SSFA), The Royal British Legion, RAF Benevolent Fund and Help for Heroes

We care deeply about Southend. Southend Airshow was a hallmark event for the town, it truly put Southend on the map and with your help it can do once again.

Thank you,

John & Tom

Southend Airshow & Military Festival

Sponsor packs now available!


Southend Airshow & Military Festival offers Sponsors access to a massive cross-section of the population in key demographics such as families and the 18-25 market. It is family-orientated event, which is larger than the British Formula 1 Grand Prix and draws a substantial footfall in excess of 400,000 people over the festival weekend, so the Airshow is the perfect event to market your company.

Southend Airshow & Military Festival can help you:

  •  Promote your brand experience to visitors
  •  Drive your brand by spreading your message to a diverse audience
  •  Provide nearly three miles to promote your brand and products to over 400,000 visitors attending the event weekend

Interested? View our all new Sponsor Pack or send an email to!

To read more about press coverage of the announcement, visit the Echo website!

Announcing the Airshow Bear!

When we started fighting to save Southend Airshow way back in January of this year, we stated that for the Airshow to return to the seafront it needed to change.

And so over the last eleven months that’s what we’ve been focussing on.

From moving the date of the event from May to September, seeking new partners, cutting costs and even setting up the Southend Airshow Community Interest Company – we have been working hard to change this event for the better.

However, for the Airshow to return next year, we need Sponsors to support the event, but we also need you our community to to help out, so today we are very excited to launch our Southend Airshow & Military Festival merchandise, starting with the Airshow Bear!


Designed and produced by local business Teddy Station, the official bear is decked out in true pilot fashion, 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.

The Official Southend Airshow & Military Festival Bear is the first merchandise item to be made available, and will soon be joined by mugs, key rings, canvas prints and more – so wherever you are you can show your support for Southend Airshow & Military Festival.

You can purchase the Official Southend Airshow & Military Festival Bear online or by visiting the Teddy Station in Southend’s Victoria shopping centre and costs £9.99, with all profits going to Southend Airshow & Military Festival.

Steve Kohler, owner of Teddy Station had this to say:

“My wife and I attended the very first Southend Air Show, when Concorde graced the sky above us I will never forget that moment, since then we attended the majority of the shows. And in in later years traded at the show with our make your own bear stand. Southend lost a huge amount of potential customers and tourists when the show was cancelled let’s hope we can bring them back and put Southend back on the map.”

Thomas Curtis had this to say:

“The launch of the Southend Airshow & Military Festival Bear combined with a range of exciting merchandise offers the many thousands of supporters a way to help us get closer to the 2014 event and get something fun in return.”

John Delaney added:

“It is fantastic news that another local company has stepped in to assist us by outlaying thousands of pounds to supply the official Airshow Bear for us to sell online & in local outlets. We are all delighted with the quality of the Bear which is so apt with his flight jacket, goggles, & Airshow T Shirt and I hope everyone does their bit by buying one for Christmas presents to help support us.”



Charitable beneficiaries announced!

Southend Airshow and Military Festival selects the Vulcan Restoration Trust as beneficiary!

Vulcan Restoration Trust among four other charities selected to benefit from Southend Airshow & Military Festival

Southend Airshow & Military Festival is proud to announce that the Vulcan Restoration Trust is to be a beneficiary of the event scheduled for 6-7th September 2014. The Vulcan Restoration Trust owns and maintains Avro Vulcan B2 XL426, based at London Southend Airport. The Vulcan Restoration trust has worked incredibly hard to maintain the much loved Vulcan and its a iconic part of Southend’s history.

The Vulcan Restoration Trust joins Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association, The RAF Benevolent Fund, The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes as charities selected to benefit from Southend Airshow & Military Festival. The chosen charities will receive a percentage of the profits generated from the 2014 event and beyond.

Steve Barnes, Membership Secretary of the Vulcan Restoration Trust had this to say:

“I am delighted that The Southend Airshow & Military Festival is supporting the Vulcan Restoration Trust by donating part of its profits from the event to the Trust. This support highlights the need to preserve the Southend Vulcan as an iconic aircraft from our military history and as an important symbol of British aviation engineering. The Vulcan Restoration Trust exists solely on charitable donations and its own fund raising so support such as this is crucial to the continued preservation and operation of the Southend Vulcan.”

Thomas Curtis had this to say:

“Southend Airshow & Military Festival is more than just creating an event, its about giving back to the community. The Vulcan restoration trust is a team of dedicated enthusiasts works hard to keep a part of our nations military heritage in working order and we couldn’t be more pleased to support them. 

John Delany added:

“The Vulcan Restoration Trust are doing a fantastic job maintaining & restoring the iconic Vulcan Bomber XL426 at Southend Airport. It was a natural fit to highlight & support them keep this piece of aviation history in our town.”

Candi Entertainment brings the party to Southend Airshow & Military Festival!

photo 2-1

Hot on the heels of the recent announcement detailing Essex Military Support Association joining the team, Southend Airshow and Military Festival is proud to announce that Candi Entertainments is to join as a Service Sponsor. Candi entertainment are a leading entertainment agency that provide a range of exciting acts that amaze attendees across the country.

The acts that Candi will be providing for free of charge to Southend Airshow & Military Festival include stilt walkers, fire performers, inflatable doorman, storm troopers, robots, and the only the UK’s only Tyrannosaurus Rex. The dinosaur stands at 9 foot high and over 12 foot in length, with animatronic movements and realistic dinosaur sounds.

Samantha Fellows from Candi Entertainment had this to say: “Candi Entertainment wanted to get involved to help support this great event and are looking forward to entertaining the thousands of attendees at the Airshow during the weekend along the seafront with all the weird and wacky types and styles of entertainment we will be providing.”

Thomas Curtis commented: “Candi Entertainment joins BTMK, Billericay IT and Goldwyns Chartered accountants as companies that recognise the importance of Southend Airshow & Military Festival. From the start we have been committed to not just bringing back the Airshow but to make it a better and more exciting event. Candi Entertainment is providing a whole range of attractions never seen before and we are sure that they will delight attendees.”

John Delaney added: “We want the Airshow event to be exciting both in the air & on the ground. The Candi entertainers are brilliant multi skilled performers who will delight the crowds plus add to the fun and atmosphere of the event so its fantastic Candi Entertainment have chosen to support us.”

Interview with Dan Rodgers from Essex Military Support Association!

Dan RodgersFollowing on from our announcement that Essex Military Support Association has joined the team we sat down with Dan Rodgers to find out more about him and the activities of Essex Military Support Association.

Hi Dan welcome aboard, tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, its great to have been offered this opportunity to be involved in such an iconic community event.  My name is Dan Rodgers, 34 from Rayleigh. I am a keen fundraiser and strong organiser.  I have been a longtime supporter of my local football team Southend United and currently work full-time for the Echo newspaper so I’m very passionate about our local communities in the south of Essex and if I am able to use my skills and experience to give a little something back to the people of Essex, I’m more than happy to do that.

You ran Armed Forces Day Rayleigh event this year, how did it go?

Yes, the event in Rayleigh was extremely successful, even more so than we have ever had hoped for.  I put together the Essex Military Support Association towards the end of 2012 made up of a number of former members of our Armed Forces, local businesses and members of the community.  The way the group worked as a team was clear to see on the day by the level of support given to us by the Armed Forces was on a level never seen before in the South of the County and the people of the local communities really turned out in force with some 12000+ coming along to see the incredible displays and performances by the military and local groups.  It is really heart warming to know that there is that many people within our communities that support what we did and I hope we can build on that again in Rayleigh next year, as well as a number of other projects we are working on, not forgetting a certain airshow in September 2014 we’re all looking forward too.

You had fantastic support from the military, how did you manage it?

The support from the military was overwhelming and of course without their support the event couldn’t have been what it was, with numerous local units showing their support and also we had a strong show of support from a number of troops from Colchester who came down on their day off to enjoy the great entertainment we provided.  We have worked very hard to build strong relationships with these units and its this combined with the success of our event in June that has put us in a very strong position to improve our event next year and to bring some very special things to the Airshow in 2014.

Why are you joining Southend Airshow & Military Festival team?

The Southend Airshow is one of the most iconic events not only in Essex but also on the international airshow calendar and this is shown in the incredible numbers that regularly attended the event previously.  We were extremely fortunate that our event was so successful and just one of the great things that came off the back of this was to get involved with the Southend Airshow and Military Festival.  I think this is an amazing and saying no was never an option.  I’m hoping to be able to use my contacts within the Forces as well as the strength of my team to put together some great ground displays for the airshow taking it back to its heyday back in the 80′s and 90′s when we used to have a strong military support on the day.

What is the best aspect of the Airshow?

For me personally, its going to an event that can capture your imagination all day no matter what your age.  Of course the planes will play a huge part in this, but between the displays you always need something going on and with a good airshow, this is never in short supply.

Anything else you’d like to mention?

The Essex Military Support Association is a fairly new group and we are growing fast, but we need your support to continue this growth and not only assist in making Southend Airshow a better airshow for the future, but also we a number of other events throughout the year.  We would love any potential volunteers to be involved and if you would like to help us or get involved, please contact us through the details on our Facebook page.