Light aircraft fly-in to Manston raises £1.8k for Martha Trust charity

DONATION: left to right: Sally Dixon and Gary Blake of RiverOak, Kerry Banks from Martha Trust, Steve Hoskins and Nic Orchard from the Kent Strut and Nathan Hubbard of Polar Helicopters

A light aircraft fly-in event at Manston on Sunday (May 28) has raised £1,800 (inclusive of a last minute £100 donation) for the Martha Trust charity which provides residential care and respite in east Kent for profoundly disabled people and their families.

The Kent Strut branch of the Light Aircraft Association said 103 craft landed at the runway to raise funds for the associations nominated charity.

Martha Trust operates state-of-the-art homes in Hacklinge near Deal and Hastings, East Sussex, caring for a total of 38 of young people and adults.

Steve Hoskins, of the Light Aircraft Association, said: “It’s very unusual to have everything from multi-million-pound aircraft right down to microlights, and everything else in between, at events like this. It is totally down to the facilities at Manston being available.

“Everyone helped out. Polar Helicopters manned the radios, and did a stonking job, and G! Fire and Rescue had three fire tenders there.

“Everyone had a good time and RAF Manston History Museum were involved and were holding their re-enactment event.

“We have adopted Martha Trust as our charity for pilots in East Kent and supported them with quite a few fly-ins but it was quite unique to have something on this scale and phenomenal that RiverOak let us use the facilities.”

Kerry Banks, from Martha Trust, said: ““We are incredibly grateful for LAA Kent Strut for choosing to support our very special residents at Martha Trust through the charity fly-in at Manston.

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“We would also like to say a massive thank you to all the organisations that supported them in making this event possible -it was so fabulous to see everyone come together raising funds for our guys and girls. The monies raised will go directly towards their high level of care, thank you again everyone!”

Photo Michael Collins

The fly-in coincided with the history museum’s three day re-enactment event of vehicles and troops from the world wars. There was also a car rally.

Gary Blake, airport manager at RSP Manston, said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome so many people and pilots to Manston over the weekend and to see the airfield buzzing with life, just as it was designed to be.

2433 ATC Thanet Squadron

“We would like to congratulate the Light Aircraft Association for such an impeccably organised fly-in, the RAF Manston History Museum for making everyone feel so welcome and the hundreds of people involved in the re-enactment weekend for bringing some of the key aspects of Manston’s illustrious history to life.

“What with the 2023 Hughes Rally also making use of the site for some of their driver challenges, it really felt like the local community came to Manston over the Bank Holiday weekend!”


  1. An amazing achievement, as well as a sight to behold! Let’s hope that this will be a regular event.

  2. So nice to see the runway being used for what it was meant for a great event more of the same please.

  3. Shame there isn’t a service to London city airport for the commuters, with all the disruption on the trains

  4. Great success. Well done to everyone involved.
    No debate about the cargo hub is really needed here. It’s in court in a matter of weeks. Let’s wait & see what happens, then we can hear what everybody thinks.

  5. Well done to all concerned. Great to see the airport being used and buzzing with activity. A total of £2150 donated now, as I write. Looking forward to more of the same.

  6. I’m wondering how much Ramsgate Town Council has raised for Martha Trust Charity or has all their public funds been committed elsewhere?

    • How much did RSP donate?
      Is it true that they want to CPO the Museums’ land (the land that was gifted to the Museums by Stone Hill Park)?

      • Andrew you might want to get your facts straight rather then spouting lies mind that does not go with your narrative does it

        • If you read my posting carefully (clearly you didn’t) you’d have seen that I didn’t state any facts at all. I asked two questions:
          How much did RSP (the owners of Manston, and recipients of £Ms of tax-payers’ money) make to this excellent cause;
          Has RSP included the land on which the Museums stand in its Compulsory Acquisition requirements?
          Instead of being rude, you could simply provide the information (assuming you know the answers).
          Mind, that does not go with your narrative does it?

          • Well”*.*”, let me help you out.
            This is from the IoTN on 27th June 2019:

            ‘The Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum has raised concerns at the paucity of discussion about the two venues and the future of their freehold.


            In response RSP say: “While the Applicant currently believes that outright compulsory acquisition is necessary for all the land subject to that power in its application, it may find later once detailed design has been completed that the lesser imposition of a restrictive covenant may be possible.’
            You can read the whole article here ..


  7. I am really pleased that the Martha trust raised so much maybe it will make the anti Manston realise now how important Manston is

  8. Of course all money for worthwhile charities is welcome, but I wonder how much they would have raised if the participants had left their polluting aircraft on the ground and donated the fuel and other costs to The Martha Trust.More than £20 per aircraft no doubt. Smoke and mirrors I think.

  9. Jenny Dawes’ bid for a judicial review is supported by hundreds of people. You might as well say “**** all those who donated money to the Judicial review organized by Jenny Dawe”.

  10. Yes indeed **** the lot of them. The airport was there first. If they dont like it they are more than welcome to move away. These same people will moan if houses are put on the site (Karens).

    • Deary, deary me.

      It was all going so well.
      An enthusiastic group of people raised some money for a very deserving charity.
      Not an unpleasant word anywhere.

      Then rabid pro-airport people had to hijack this piece, and spoil it with their appalling personal comments and jibes.

      And no, I don’t see why last weekend’s event demonstrates the importance of Manston. Hosting charity events wasn’t mentioned in the DCO application.

      • “Karens” is a derogatory term used by ill educated and semi literate people to describe folk with whose opinions they don’t agree.
        For example, were one to maintain that the Earth was an oblate spheroid, rather than flat, some might describe that person as a “Karen”.
        An ignorant but rather more able person would, rather than resort to personal insults, try to present evidence justifying his or her Flat Earth thesis.

        You often see it in the context of Manston supporters. They have so little evidence to support their cause that they resort to name calling.
        A shame that it has to happen on this worthy thread.

    • Thanks Mr/Ms Lucky for your kind wishes to all those who don’t want the noise and pollution of a cargo airport near their homes.

      • Look at the of the day the airport was there first, it has a lot of history. You mention polution but that will also increase if the airport is turned into a housing estate. The carbon footprint of the construction and new inhabetants will also be significant. Thanet doesnt have the infastructure to cope with more people, doctors and schools etc. A new airport will bring employment and carreer opportunties for future generations.

        • The construction of the airport woulg create vast amounts of pollution, in addition to all the houses that are all ready being built. We don’t need extra pollution.
          Just because Manston used to be an RAF station is no reason for it becoming a cargo hub.
          Since Manston closed, unemployment in Thanet has fallen, and the economy, particularly in the hospitality and tourism sectors, has blossomed.
          The CEO of RSP has acknowledged that a cargo hub at Manston would have negative consequences for the quality of life of the 40,000 people living in Ramsgate.

  11. I’m not in favour of a “dirty great cargo hub” (Ashe Asby’s words) just a few hundred yards from Ramsgate.
    But I don’t see a problem with heritage runway events like those last week.
    Of course, it would not be possible to have such a fundraising event if “dirty great” cargo planes were landing and taking off every few minutes.

  12. Dirty great cargo hub, how about dirty great housing hubs with thousands of people with thousands of cars and thousands of gallons of water and thousands of ton of rubbish do I need to go on. Of course parkland would be better but can trees grow there even after the runway is taken away and the tunnels filled in ands the American vehicles taken to the scrapyard. Oh and please be aware of the explosives still to be removed. Airport does it for me

    • We get the houses with or without the airport. They’re currently being built in their 1000s on greenfields around Thanet.
      There’s plenty of the hundreds of a res of Manston that’s not concrete. No problem planting trees there.
      What tunnels? What Americam vehicles?

      • You obviously don’t live here or if you do you haven’t for long, there are USAF vehicles under ground in Locke shelters. Alongside other bits of equipment just left behind when they pulled out.

  13. I think more people want it than dont. Fingers crossed it will happen and all those who have donated for the judicial review will have wasted their money. Could of used that money to move out the area or to a place where planes dont exist.

    • Think what you like.
      At the recent local elections, voters in their thousands didn’t vote for the party that used pro-Manston stuff in its manifesto.
      In Ramsgate, the councillors who approved the donation to Ms Dawes’ fund were overwhelmingly voted back in, whilst those who protested were voted out.

  14. Rees, I have mentioned the Disney type of road train that could be used around the unnecessary housing estates. Would be better for the school run as welll as shoppers

  15. Those who donated for the Dawes monetary black-hole maybe ought to have donated go the Martha Trust instead? Andrew with all your petty vacuous sarcasm and total vacuum of any substantial arguments. Anyone can see that the future here is a choice of houses and no airport (just more houses), or houses and an airport. At least the latter has a bit more about it rather than just another bland overpopulated dreary dead-end sprawl. And …whoever it was who said the aviators should have left their aircraft at home and just forked out a donation themselves??! Jeez …there’s someone who probably has to take their shoes and socks off to count over ten! How on earth would that draw publicity and draw in all other donations etc from those visiting the event over the weekend …der? Let’s just get this goddam airport opened up and the few same old empty vessels silenced before we suffer death by monumental stupid!

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