So by now, most people would have seen the announcement from the Royal Corps of Signals regarding the disbandment of the ‘White Helmets’ the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team
“We can confirm that after 90 years entertaining and thrilling crowds with their dazzling arena displays the iconic ‘White Helmets’ the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team’s forthcoming season will be its last.
The Royal Signals has come a very long way since those formative days using motorbikes to carry messages across the battlefield and are now ‘Leaders in a Digital Age’, using cutting edge communications technology to carry out its vital work (including in Cyber capabilities) with highly trained personnel at the helm operating it.
The team, the oldest and most famous motorcycle display team in the world, has made a considerable contribution over the years to the Army’s Community Engagement activities performing spectacular feats of balance, death defying crossover rides and outstanding acrobatics to thousands of people at home and abroad. The general public will have their final chance to see the team as they tour in 2017!
Personnel employed within the team will return to their core responsibilities in the Field Army.
This decision is not financially motivated and is about modernisation.”
This decision has come as quite a shock especially for me as most of you know my son is one of the current team members…. So this blog entry is a post to show how proud I am, not just of my son, but also the whole of the team who become like family to each other….
I remember the day that my son Ben had his graduation ceremony for the white helmets… I was nervous, but also very proud….
Then Ben jumped through the fire. My heart was in my mouth as Ben went through and burnt all his face.
To this day he still has his “Tiger” stripes on his face. A sign of bravery some would say? More like stupidity lol…
I said before that the team are more like family and this is because they have to learnt to trust each other. They have to know that their colleagues have their back when doing these stunts. Like this stunt where the one crouching lets the ones on the floor know that a bike is coming by using his hand to signal.
Some have said that the white helmets are just a drain and they are glad it has been canned… I would love to see these people do these stunts… Its not just about riding a motorbike round a display ground. Its about connecting with the audience and showing them that the forces isn’t just about going to war. They rehearse and train for months beforehand. They are currently on training camp as I write this and their graduation for the new white helmets is April… in between shows they are training….
I think one of the teams defining moment was being on “Through the keyhole” with Keith lemon… Years ago Anthea Turner was sitting on the edge of a truck and the scene was a motorcycle would jump of behind here.. Infact as it did it caught her hair on fire… So they used the White Helmets as a clue….
Watching my son and his team mates do these stunts can be fun, but it is also scary and heart in mouth times for me… The thing I love the most about these displays is the children in the audience and their screams of delight as the bang on the fire happens, or when a rider jumps the car
or the screams when the white helmets play chicken with each other.
If you’re in any of the below places this year, make sure you go along and watch the last year of the White Helmets:
8th April – 2017 Graduation Ceremony – Blandford
22nd April – St George’s Day Festival – Lytham St Anne
29th April – 1st May – Abbey Hill Steam Rally – Yeovil
7th May – Durweston May Fair – Blandford
14th May – South Suffolk Show – Newmarket
31st May – 8th June – TT Races – Isle of Man
10th June – Families Day DMS Whittington- Lichfield
14th June – Downlands School – Blandford
15th June – Garrison Retreat Ceremony – Blandford
17th June – RSA Reunion – Blandford
18th June – RMAS Heritage Day Camberley
24th June – Armed Forces Day – TBC
8th – 9th July – Rempstone Country Fair – Leicestershire
15th July – Colchester Show – Essex
20th July – 22 Signals Regiment Families Day – Stafford
23rd July – Bikewise
11th – 12th August – Shrewsbury Flower Show – Shropshire
24th – 28th August – Great Dorset Steam Fair – Tarrant Hinton
1st – 3rd Sept – Chats worth Country Fair – Derbyshire
9th Sept – Normanton Gala – Yorkshire
16th September- Preston Military Show – Lancashire
30th September – Closing Ceremony – Blandford
Lets give the white helmets the ultimate send off and show them your support because they’re an amazing bunch of lads that have spent the past few years making other people happy with their shows…..
If you also want to show your support please do feel free to sign the petition that someone created to try and stop this decision.. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/183035
So this blog post is for you ‘White Helmets’ the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team. Thank you for 90 years of displays and lots of “oh” and “Ah” moments…