Biggin Hill
International Air Fair

In May 1966, the latest Radio London land-based promotion took place at the Biggin Hill International Air Fair.

Lewis Tassell took a number of photos, which, in 2024, he posted on the Big L Facebook Page.

Subsequently, Mike Terry kindly gained Lewis's permission for Radio London to use the pictures for this feature.

The Biggin Hill International Air Fair ran between Thursday 12th and Sunday 15th May, and featured catwalk shows run by Berkertex International Fashions, the major clothing brand of the time.

Brian Long, in his book 'The London Sound', reports that Mark Roman arrived by helicopter on Saturday 14th, to compere the 12.45 show of Berkertex's latest trendsetters. Mark, wearing a light suit instead of his trademark toga, was accompanied by six 'Big L Girls' from a West End club, wearing the 1966 design Radio London teeshirt. The girls' main purpose for being there appears to have been decorative.

Radio London listeners had been given the chance to enter the Berkertex Fashions 'Touchdown Game', where entrants had to guess, to the exact second, the time that Mark would arrive. The entrants submitting the three closest guesses won a Berkertex dress and three runners-up were awarded a flight around the Galaxy. (I would definitely have preferred to have won the latter - M)

According to the event programme, one of these Berkertex fashion shows was staged every day of the Air Fair except Friday, but the names of the compères are not listed.

Big L also sponsored a stunt pilot at the air show who was referred to as 'The Radio London Dare Devil', but there is no listing in the official programme and we have been unable to learn any more about the pilot's identity. Radio London is not mentioned anywhere in the programme as being involved with the Air Fair, not even on the exhibitors' page.

The official programme, as depicted, was purchased originally by 18-year-old Roger P Smith of Coventry, who partially completed the 1966 Air Fair Competition form enclosed in it, but found himself unable to answer all the questions. First prize was two return flights to Paris.

We would love to hear from anyone who attended, or participated in this 1966 event and can tell us more about it, especially the winners of the 'Touchdown Game' and those who were lucky enough to take a flight over the Galaxy.

Do get in touch!

All the above photos of Mark and the 'Big L Girls' are courtesy of photographer Lewis Tassell.

Below is a scan of a photocopied image from the 1966 Air Fair that appeared in 'The London Sound' by Brian Long.
Unfortunately, we do not know the photographer's name and are unable to improve on the image quality.

Link to an item featuring Berkertex Fashions