London – The spirit that got Londoners through the dark days of WWII and round-the-clock bombings has resurfaced, according to Peter McKenna, American trade show veteran now on the senior staff of the Farnborough Air Show and based in London.
Calling on his mobile phone from Brighton in southern England, McKenna said that bombing incidents in the British capital have had immediate impact on several national events, among them the scheduled celebration planned for tomorrow (Friday) to greet the return of the U.K. Olympic Committee. Up in the air is the nationwide observance, set for Sunday for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, including a massive military parade on the Mall and a flyby of vintage and modern military aircraft.
McKenna said the Society of British Aircraft Companies (SBAC) which organizes the biennial Farnborough Air Show (alternating with the just concluded Paris Air Show as the pre-eminent aerospace marketplace year after year) had arranged hotel accommodations for the staff who found it impossible to leave London today due to the complete shutdown of the city’s public transportation system. (McKenna was able to reach his home in Hove on the English Channel coast by a circuitous three-hour journey for one that normally takes less than 55 minutes.) He added that people were opening their homes to stranded strangers and that the Red Cross was providing emergency shelter too.
McKenna, a 17-year veteran of the exhibition industry, began his career with Glahe International, and moved to London several years ago, working with the Montgomery Network, before returning in 2002 to work for the Aviation World’s Fair. His present assignment as Director of Sponsorships for Farnborough began in 2003.
Trade Show Executive will continue to update this news with further developments….