With the ever evolving situation around the COVID-19 pandemic and the UK government pause on easing restrictions that particularly impacts on large indoor events, the difficult decision has had to be taken to postpone the much anticipated inaugural Black Tie Gala event until Saturday 2nd October 2021.
Naturally, this is disappointing news and is another blow to the fundraising efforts of the Hawker Typhoon RB396 project team. However, the health and safety of all those concerned has always been the primary concern during preparations and the risk to everyone is, unfortunately, deemed too great at this current time.
A huge amount of work has gone into planning this event and this is reflected by the fact that nearly all 200 tickets have been sold or reserved in a very short amount of time. Next year’s event will be even bigger and better than this year’s would have been, work is already underway with regard to the venue, air display, guests, music, speakers and auction lots.
All those who purchased a ticket have been notified. All tickets will automatically carry over and be valid for next year, provided all memberships are kept up to date, however refunds can be issued on request. If you purchased a ticket please check your email inbox and if you have any questions please contact the event coordinator from whom you have received many email updates. Any remaining tickets will go on sale again in the Spring 2021, you can sign up to be notified when this happens by either joining the Supporters’ Club to get preferential rates and advanced notice, or, by using the sign up form on the Black Tie event page on the project website.
The Black Tie Gala event is an exciting new stage in the project’s fundraising programme and will provide a boost to continue the rebuild of RB396 alongside the efforts of the newly formed Fundraising Development Team.
It formed part of a revitalised fundraising plan that began back in 2019 before COVID-19 hit the world stage. Little was known of what could be expected with the virus and preparations continued with the reasonable hope that life would be able to return to a normality that would allow an event of this kind to be held. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.
Fundraising efforts going forward will now focus around the Fundraising Development Team brief until such time as specific planning can resume for the 2021 Black Tie gala.
It is a credit to supporters that so many tickets were sold over these past few months despite the global uncertainty, the proceeds of which would have had a significant impact on the project. If you would like to discuss options regarding how you can contribute to the work of the project, in the absence of the Black Tie gala, please contact us.
The decision has also had to be taken to cancel the end of season RB396 Supporters’ Club Members’ Day, scheduled for the 25th October 2020. This event is a yearly one, and held on the anniversary weekend of the very first event the project held, the official launch event held in 2016 at the Boultbee Flight Academy, Goodwood.
The event is a highlight in the grass-roots supporters’ calendar and is held the day after the official AGM. This allows an opportunity for members of the RB396 Supporters’ Club to get together, to catch up, to hear about the year’s successes as well as being briefed on the plans for the following year. The event is also another key fundraising event for the project, raising thousands of pounds.
As recently briefed in the project refocus, this end of season Members’ Day was to be the sole remaining yearly Supporters’ Club event to be held at the project’s Uckfield base, whilst all efforts are put into larger scale fundraising. The forced cancellation of this year’s event, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a double blow both for Supporters’ Club members and for the project.
The supreme efforts of the project team are continuing, albeit behind closed doors until some normality returns. COVID-19 has changed the lives of many, but the team are not letting it get in the way of raising the ~£5million required to see that Hawker Typhoon RB396 is returned to the skies where she belongs, so that she can be the living, breathing and working memorial that the Typhoon air and ground crews deserve.
The project team are actively seeking to contact those who are in a position to support this great endeavour. For too long the brave air and ground crews, not to mention those who built, tested and delivered the aircraft, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice, have been denied the memorial they truly deserve. When complete, Hawker Typhoon RB396 will serve as a permanent and fitting memorial, but it can only be achieved with financial support. If you would like to discuss how you can contribute to the work of the team, please contact us.