C Walton purchases the Bruntingthorpe site and starts to introduce events including a number of full air shows marketed under the name Big Thunder.


We established our own corporate hospitality service, Big Thunder Events, in 2001, keeping hold of the name that was once the codename for the air base when in the hands of the USAF.


Since 2001 Big Thunder has introduced numerous activities to add to our portfolio. Initially focused on supercar and other automotive experiences, activities such as hovercraft racing, archery and falconry have since been added.


In 2015, we heavily invested in the Hangar ’42 building, a £1.5m project that has enabled us to cater for a variety of events over the years – from gala dinners to new product launches.


Construction of the brand new Whittle Building followed an opening in 2016 to provide a smaller venue for bespoke events. Situated trackside, the Whittle Building provides a comfortable atmosphere for conferences, smaller product launches and other corporate events.



Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire is the current home of C Walton Limited, Manheim Auctions, Big Thunder Events, Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and the Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, featuring the iconic Cold War Jets Collection as well as a number of other automotive businesses. All situated within the 670-acre site, there is something to meet the needs of each of our customers. Our wide range of facilities allow us to cater for any type of event, from the standard to the obscure, and thanks to our 3.2km straight, Bruntingthorpe still operates as an active airfield.

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