A WWI early morning Sunrise shoot with engine runs and re-enactors, 24th or 25th September 2016
Stow Maries, Essex


A WWI early morning Sunrise shoot with engine runs and re-enactors, 24th or 25th September 2016

Deep in the Essex countryside lies Stow Maries, a former WWI aerodrome, a location that offers a wealth of photographic opportunities and the setting for our first Sunrise WWI aircraft event.


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About this event

We are delighted to bring you a very unique early morning Sunrise photo shoot at the former WWI aerodrome Stow Maries in the heart of the Essex Countryside. Working closely with our friend and professional photographer Andy Rouse who was instrumental in bringing us our first opportunity at this wonderful location we are looking forward to working with him again on this, another very unique photo opportunity. 

With Sunrise at this time of year around 06.30 we are planning a meeting up time of 05.00 to allow time to brief and be ready. It will also allow us the opportunity to catch the aircraft in the first light of the day. We plan to create various cameos around the airfield posing the local living historians (re-enactors) with the aircraft as static displays. Then at the optimum moment we will run up the aircraft to allow us those blurred props and action shots. After the sun has got slightly higher in the sky we will move the aircraft to allow some different angles before we retreat to the NAFFI for a well earned breakfast. Your ticket will allow you to stay on beyond the event official finish time, thus allowing you even more photography time.

The aircraft we are expecting to take part in this event include BE2e, Albatros DVa, Sopwith Snipe, Bristol Scout, and SE5a. 

Stow Maries Aerodrome was established in 1916 two years after the Great War began as the base for No 37 (Home Defence) Squadron, Royal Flying Corps.  The Squadron’s role was to defend the nation against Zeppelin raids, which generated huge hysteria in UK and the Empire that far exceeded the actual damage and casualties that they caused. More than 20 airfields in Kent and Essex were prepared in a barrage defence to defeat the Zeppelin menace. Stow Maries at the time of its commissioning in 1916 consisted of 34 buildings including an Officers and Airmen’s Mess.  The crews had to get airborne in underpowered, fabric-covered biplanes, open to the elements in the dark that required enormous bravery to take-off, let alone fight. By 1917 the Zeppelins had been superseded by Gotha bombers, which were faster than the Zeppelin and which required a different strategy to defeat – a layered defence.  This concept was still in place for the Battle of Britain 23 years later.  

Stow Maries Aerodrome remained operational until 1919 before being returned to the farming family who used the buildings as grain stores and vehicle sheds for over 80 years.  It is now held in Trust and is a listed site, being returned to its former glory by the Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome Trust. Working in partnership with SMGWA, the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust (WAHT) is advancing education about the evolution of military aviation and the courage of the crews in the Great War by the creation and maintenance of a flying collection of late-model original WW1 aircraft - connecting current and future generations with the foresight and bravery of their forebears.  The Trusts’ combined vision is for a fully operational dynamic WW1 aerodrome that is an enduring worldwide centre of excellence and host to STEM and apprenticeship initiatives by the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018.

Our shoot will start at 05.00 with Sunrise at around 06.30 and will run until approximately 09.00.

Because this kind of shoot is total weather dependent we have built a weather clause into the event, our date is booked as the 24th of September but if the weather does not look to be promising we will make a decision 24 hours beforehand and if needs be move the shoot to Sunday the 25th. Equally if both days of the weekend look to be a write off we will reschedule completely. 

We really believe this could well be another of the highlights of the 2016 calendar and therefore expect tickets to sell fast.

Event cost £65.00 per person. Your ticket price includes a breakfast in the NAAFI after the shoot. 

All images courtesy of Andy Rouse & Russell Savory ©2016




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