Tuesday 11 April was a day to remember. We had travelled to London on the Monday afternoon, and bumped into film producer (and director, editor and funder!) Stephen Saunders and his wife Clare at the hotel reception. In the evening we were joined by a group of Greeks; Kavala aishow organiser and Col. Fixit Panos Georgiadis, his two sons Ioannis and Lazarus, and their friend Chrisalena Athanasiadou who helped us so much getting the travel arrangements sorted last year, and did the English subtitles for the film.
We ate in the Italian restaurant in St Pancras station, and the following morning arrived at the Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square to get set up.
By 1130, guests had started to arrive, and quickly it became a wonderful blur, as we met again so many who had helped on the project; Keith Edwards who built the trailer, Tony Stairs, our magical magneto man, Sir Geoge White and his son Philip, a sizeable contingent from the Shuttleworth Collection, and many others, in addition to those members of our families who could make it.
At 1240 Stephen stood up on the stage to introduce his baby, and the lights lowered and we settled down to watch.
65 minutes later there was a huge round of applause, and Stephen went on stage again to thank those who had contributed to the making of the film. Panos Georgiadis presented him with a photographic memento of the Greek filming, and did the same for Sue, who so very richly deserved it. I was next, with a model of Grandad, beautifully painted and complete with RNAS uniform and cap – as made by the Kavala model aircraft club.
Yes, but what was the film like?
Well, I’m biased, but though it was simply superb – and even those who have no particular interest in the subject found it thoroughly absorbing. Sue’s brother John, who’d just flown in from Las Vegas the day before, managed to stay awake, which he regarded as the highest praise!
Stephen is working hard to get the DVDs out so that they can be offered for sale, and his agent is touting it round the TV companies.
He’s managed to include elements of Grandad’s service and the war in the Eastern Mediterranean in addition to the build and flying of 1264, and so it’s absolutely jam-packed with information you’re unlikely to have seen or heard befire, as well as masses of original film footage that hasn’t seen the light of day for 100 years. It will be a crime against entertainment if it doesn’t get an airing.
But if you can’t wait, you can place your order now!