I’ve noticed quite a few people from Australia have been viewing my blog recently. This could be because of a current visit to the UK by Jo Watson, who I knew from Berkeley Castle days, and with whom I’m hoping to meet while I’m at the Royal International Air Tattoo in a couple of weeks.
This brings to mind the fact that my father’s first operational posting was with 456 (Australian) Squadron at Valley in Anglesey in 1941. He teamed up with an Australian gunner who became one of his best friends in the war: Stanley Wheatley Greenwood, from Melbourne, Australia, known as ‘Ack’ to his friends. This lovely man was killed in a flying accident during an exercise over Lytham St Anne’s in North West England in 1942, while my Dad was away on detachment elsewhere, and Dad was heartbroken about it. The Defiant, flown by Pilot Officer Olney, flew too low over Fairhaven Lake along the shoreline and crashed into the sands. Both pilot and gunner were killed instantly.
Stanley ‘Ack’ Greenwood. Died 7 Feb 1942
Ground Crew sent me over to Crispin Thetford, of Thetford Engineering, today, with our new brake cylinder, which needed modification to fit Chattie, even though it was the right part (in theory) for the car. Pin bored out the inlet port on the cylinder to make it a bit larger and machined the banjo bolt to 1 thread difference, so it should now work and Ground Crew are ready to try again and fit it. I hadn’t appreciated how individual vintage cars are; each one needs bespoke engineering in so many different areas. This is a challenge all round, but Thetford Engineering will be giving Chattie a thorough and complete overhaul later this summer to prepare her for the airfields visiting next year.
Is there another food-and-flying festival anywhere else in the country, I wonder? It’s an excellent combination! I’m very pleased that Chattie will be on show there: shobdonfoodfestival.co.uk
Only a week to go and Ground Crew is busy fixing Chattie’s brakes. New parts arrived from the excellent Dave Hardwick Spares Ltd, specialist for Singer Le Mans parts, so work is carrying on as I write.
Shobdon is a small airfield but has an interesting history – it trained around 2,000 glider pilots in world war two, and launched over 90,000 glider missions.
I liked this post on Facebook: http://www.raf.mod.uk/news/archive/raf-dog-scents-success-13062014 , reminding us of all the animals throughout history who have befriended and worked in military situations.
On January 10th 1946, Bruce the dog travelled as ‘radio operator’ in Dad’s Mosquito when 25 Squadron moved from Caslte Camps to Boxted.
The organisers of Pre-war Prescott hill climb have donated 50 spectator tickets to the vintage sports car hill climb event on Saturday 19th July 2014 to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Charitable Trust. These are in my care and I would love you to buy from me and visit this great event, where I will be stationed with Chattie Chu Chu and other early Singer cars at the heart of the Paddock, next to the entry to the hill.
The tickets are £15 per car for any number of occupants. Spectators park their cars in the Orchard (accessed from the main gate, where marshals will direct traffic), which has pedestrian access to the Paddock, the hill and all facilities including the restaurant, snack bar and licensed bar which will be open all day.
If you would like to buy a ticket from me direct, all the money will go to the two charities (split 50/50):
To order your ticket call me on 01544 267350 or mobile 07795 324 575, clearly leaving your number for me to call you back if I do not pick up the phone straight away when you call.
Yes, I know it’s in sepia, but it really was only taken last year – by Phil Jones at Pre-war Prescott, and ‘borrowed’ from the Prewar Prescott website, with thanks.
Chattie and I have been very kindly invited to be present at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) Fri 11th to Sunday 13th July at Fairford, Gloucestershire. Chattie will be proudly on display in the Cotswold Club area of the site, next to the runway. I would love to meet anyone who cares to say hello to me while I am there.
Ground Control living up to his job title.