Duxford is and always will be a special place for our family and the Foundation.
Not only was Douglas based there for a significant portion of his war years but more recently it was the venue to feature the first ever public air show performance of ‘Bader’s Bus Company’; the disabled air display team that we created in partnership with Aerobility. An unforgettable moment for all of us who were involved.
So it was with great excitement that I entered the airshow with my son Tarka to the sound of Bader’s Big Band erupting from the hangar ahead of us. The band are truly fantastic and have grown into such a professional and slick musical outfit. It’s amazing to think back to their first rehearsal when the idea of creating the UK’s first ever Big Band consisting of musicians with a disability was still in its infancy. Looking back then I could have no idea just what a huge success the band would become. They have developed into a well rehearsed and polished 15 piece band with two incredibly talented vocalists. When I see them all set up and performing powerful and emotive music with their matching band outfits and beautifully designed bandstands I am always overcome by a sense of pride and deep admiration for all that they have achieved together. There is such a warm and cohesive bond between all the band members that can be seen and felt in the music. They love playing together, it’s great to see and it’s infectious.
This year was very special in its own way as I discovered that the band were performing within the hangar that Douglas and his infamous 242 squadron housed their aircraft. I wish he could see and hear the music that has flowered underneath the wings of his legacy and to meet all the inspiring individuals who make it. I know he would be very proud.
Here are some videos and picture of a wonderful weekend. Please do follow Bader’s Big Band on their newly formed instagram page if you’d like to follow their extraordinary and exciting journey.
We’re grateful to photographer, Roger King, who was at the event, took these photographs with his grandson’s tiny camera and sent them to us to use on the website!