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The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard

Firstly, we know that this rather familiar van is not an aircraft. It should, however, be very familiar as it's probably the most famous butcher's van in the World.

Its owned and run by the truly brilliant Dad's Army Museum in Thetford. Sadly, with the loss of Ian Lavender this year, the original cast of, let's be honest, the greatest British sitcom ever are no longer with us. Captain Mainwaring, Sgt. Wilson, Jones, Frazer, Godfrey, Pike and Walker, however, are timeless. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, you'll find plenty of fine tributes to the UK's best loved TV show; you need to go to Thetford, where it was filmed, to find the best. The Dad's Army Museum are the spiritual successors to Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier et al. Also, of course, there's the van - it really is THE van, the only one used in filming.

So what has this got to do with the air displays? Well, Mainwaring and his men did encounter the enemy, in one episode coming across a downed German aircraft and in another dealing with a German airman stuck in his parachute on the town's clock tower. Perhaps most famously they detained a U boat crew and take their fish and chip order resulting in one of the finest lines in any comedy ever, as voted for in every poll of the finest lines in TV history.

One thing, though, so far the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard have never actually engaged the enemy and they certainly haven't shot down an aircraft. Each day we'll quite rightly be putting Captain Mainwaring in charge of the airfield and have no idea what might happen on his watch. All we know is that we have a lot of warbirds and the Home Guard. Don't panic.


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