musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Month: September 2015

Up and down the Avon.

This fine morning, I climbed on board my trusty Rusticle and headed off down the road to town, my objective being to investigate the Mythe Bridge further, as well as the railway tunnel and railway viaduct in the area.  
I have consolidated the material relating to the railway in a separate post
 
My Mythe Bridge exploration did yield some improved images and it is better to take a look at the original blogpost about the bridge.
 
The railway tunnel is a literally “over the road” but unfortunately was not accessible as it was fenced off and closed off. Although I was able to zoom into it from the gate. 
  
I discovered the other end in December 2016 and it is bricked closed. The tunnel appears to be roughly 300 metres long. 
The next objective was the railway viaduct which is visible from the road. I eventually found a way to get close to it although I could not get onto it as it is fenced closed.
 
Did trains really travel over this viaduct? it is in line with the tunnel so it is entirely feasible, 
  
This image I took from the approach to the viaduct, and the tunnel is where the cars are parked, I do think there must have been some sort of embankment leading to the tunnel though, the distance is quite short and for a steam engine to climb from the tunnel to the viaduct in such a short space would have been difficult as the grade would have been quite steep.  
 
I also tried to access the trestle bridge that runs over the marina but could not get that right so shelved the idea for awhile, and decided to head back to town.
 

There is a short river cruise that runs along the Avon and I considered taking that if it was running on this day. I would then be able to kill a few birds with one stone.

Approaching the King John Bridge from town is the Old Black Bear Pub which was supposedly founded in 1308, and which is the oldest public house in Tewkesbury.

The Black Bear

The Black Bear

The Avon River played quite an important part in Tewkesbury in the days of yore, and of course flooded in 2007, putting Tewkesbury on the map. Today it is more of a leisure boating type river, with fisherpersons lining its banks and small boats puttering up and down the river.

  
The large building on the right in this image is an old mill building and it has a very pretty iron bridge spanning the Avon. 
Bridge over the Avon

Bridge over the Avon

 
This bridge was erected in 1822, and is really two bridges alongside each other. The slight arch of this bridge would have made rail traffic difficult, so a flat bridge spans the river next to this one and this flat bridge would have carried the rail traffic into the mill area.  
  
The river cruise happens a bit further down from here, and on this particular trip there were only 4 people on board. 
  
Then we were off, puttering along a waterway that has been in use for who knows how long. We were heading towards the marina and that was where I could satisfy my curiosity.
 
Just look at that steelwork. They don’t build bridges like that anymore.
 
The next bridge we were approaching is the King John’s Bridge which was commissioned by King John in the late 12th century as part of improvements to the main road from Gloucester to Worcester. This bridge was widened in the mid-to-late 1950s to meet traffic requirements although original stonework still exists on the bridge.


And then finally our boat reached the trestle bridge over the marina.

 

And my first thoughts were: Ok, where is the original structure? because there is no way that this was it, especially when you look at the stonework on either side. I kept on thinking that this was almost like a Bailey Bridge or a slightly used former bridge that needed a new home.

We continued puttering along, passing cabin cruisers and narrow boats, although some were not all that narrow. eventually reaching a turning basin where the boat turned around, 10 minutes after we had left.
And back we headed towards our berth in town.

Past the Avon Locks that I had posted about before 

With the old mill on the right. What will happen to this building? I suspect yuppie pads. It is technically prime real estate with riverside views. It is probably the tallest building in the town apart from the abbey.  I spoke to somebody about it and it is a listed building and as such they are unable to do much for it so it will probably remain derelict until it falls down on its own. 


And into the crocodile infested mooring berth… No, I do not have an explanation.

with the Abbey in the distance.

It was nearly time to head off home and I strolled along the slightly deserted streets of the town to where my velocipede was chained. I had a whole wodge of new stuff to consider, and of course a few pics to add to the collection. Next time around I want to see how far I can follow the Severn River, and of course try to find the other side of that tunnel and find some more info about the railway. The current cycle path is laid on the former trackbed of the railway, and there is a tantalising piece of railwayana in the centre of town.
 
From the station the line ran into Quay Street and onto the mill.
 
Quay Street

Quay Street

The Upton Line is one with the tunnel,  It is an interesting mystery though, and maybe it is time I contacted the society mentioned on the plaque. There may be a lot more just waiting for discovery. But that will have to wait for another day.
 
Update:
I never did get a reply about the mysterious bridge, however, very close to where I live is an embankment and buttress for a bridge that would have joined up to the trestle bridge.
 
 
 
The image above I took from the embankment and you can see the trestle bridge in the distance. My neighbour says that originally there was no bridge up to the trestle, the embankment stretched all the way across to it and the road only came afterwards. However, I spotted an image in town that may scupper that theory. The road was always there and was spanned with a bridge. The embankment then continued onwards to where the trestle bridge is today, it then crossed the current marina, went over the viaduct to the tunnel then onwards. 
That is the bridge that spans the road, and the buildings on the left still exist. 
It does however seem that I can now put this to bed because a lot of the dirty work has been done for me at Malverns Lost Railway
Out of curiosity, the Ashchurch Junction was quite a complex layout and I found an old map (no date though) which shows the extent of the junction.
The cycle path is part of the old trackbed and there is one small bridge that goes over the road that still has remnants of the steelwork from the railway

The cycle path with the small bridge heading towards Tewkesbury

The little footbridge on the cycle path from the road beneath. The steel girders are still in place as is the brickwork although the bridge is a jerry built effort.
The cyclepath looking towards the town. The former grain store would have been on the right, and at some point the railway would have branched off onto the embankment heading towards Upton.   
It amazes me how all the railway related equipment is all gone and there is almost nothing left. It is a shame that Tewkesbury has become divorced from the railway, with proper rail links the town may have become greater than it is now, but sadly it is now just another glorified bus stop. 
 
© DRW 2015-2018. Created 27/09/2015, Images migrated 02/05/2016, Additional pics added 26/12/2016 
Updated: 01/01/2018 — 15:38

Riding along on a pushbike Honey…

Yes it is true, I have bought a bicycle. Actually I have bought a  heap of rust masquerading as a bicycle, but then what do you expect for a lousy £20? 
 
Why? you ask. 
I live within walking distance from work, but roughly 40 minutes walking away from town, and while there is a bus service it is pretty scarce on a Sunday. Occasionally I need to get something that the local co-op does not have and then I am stuck.
 
I call my new velocipede “The Rusticle” because that is probably the best description of it. It has more rust on it than the Titanic, and is probably less seaworthy too.

Sizewise it it is probably a tad too small for me, but then I do not have as far to fall. The bike comes from an illustrious maker of bicycles: Raleigh Bicycle Company of Nottingham.

My first bike I had when I was in primary school was a 26″ Raleigh Rapier, and it was a beaut. although it was missing the cool factor of the Raleigh Chopper. I learnt to ride a bike with the Rapier, and my father spent a lot of time running behind me until one day he stopped running and I kept going until I hit a fence. The Rapier did not have the cool factor, but it did expand my range and along with my friends we “did stuff on our bikes (and that included the playing card on the spokes)”. Our primary school did not have bike sheds though so going to school by bike was out. 

 

Now compare the Chopper above to my bog standard black and white Rapier and you will see what I mean. Somehow you could only look cool on a chopper, and of course even more cool as you kissed the pavement after yet another wheelie gone wrong, Choppers were notorious for accidents, but at least when you came short it was while riding a Chopper.  Oddly enough they have not gone away completely, originals can ask a high price, and the MKIII will set you back a spare bit of change. (£275)

  
My dabbling with bicycles came to an end upon entering high school, the school was not too far away, but we were hampered by the huge school bags that we lugged around, and being the most anal high school on the planet we were not allowed haversacks or any sort of shoulder bags. I ended up going hither and thither by bus instead.  
 
When I came back from the army, I bought another bike, and it was a disaster on 2 wheels. It was a so called “Western Flyer” and was manufactured in Bophuthatswana or some far off failed homeland and had to be returned to the manufacturer by train when it literally fell apart underneath me. I eventually ended up buying a really nice racing bike which I used to ride from where I stayed to work and back, almost getting wiped out in Central Avenue in Mayfair on a number of occasions. When I moved to Hillbrow the bike came with, but it never went anywhere again and I ended up selling it. 
 
Then in 1988 I went on a cruise and it was also a disaster. However in our frustration the three of us hired bicycles and went for a ride along the Durban beachfront (sad isn’t it?) and that was the last time I rode a bicycle. 
 
On Wednesday 23rd of September 2015, after so many years, I sat on a saddle (and I could hear dormant piles shouting aloud in anticipation). It was a wobbly few minutes out of our gate and back into the other gate, and on the next day I biked down to Morrisons and it only took 10 minutes (usually a 20 minute walk). So I am back in the saddle again and have to remember so many things that I have forgotten over the years. There are a lot of cyclists in the UK, some with bugs in their teeth, some taking a more sedate ride down the road. Often whole fleets of high viz clad munchkins accompanied by their parents/guardians/minders will pedal by, and sometimes one of those sleek serious cyclists will flash past on his carbon fibre high tech speed machine. I probably fit in better with the munchkins. 
 
So, that is my tale of woe. I may go for a ride tomorrow, or maybe not. The difference is that now I have a means, so finding an excuse is going to be difficult.
 
Oh, I did contemplate one of those new smarmy choppers, but decided against it. After all, I will never be cool, but rather just moderately warm.
 
Update:
I finally upgraded the rusticle for a new snazzy 15 speed bike called “Apollo Jeopardy”, it is probably the only bike in town with a poppy on it. I have a pic somewhere…
 
Not that one…
 
Or that one…
Not that one either
Close but no cigar..
And it isn’t this classic beauty either, and that bike looks remarkably like the bikes we had as kids (or hoped to have when Choppers became rare). I had better take a pic just in case.
 
Ah, found it…
 
The Rusticle? at first we were going to dump it but it was really a good bike and it was eventually given to somebody at work who needed a replacement piece of rust.. er bike. 
 
© DRW 2015-2018. Created 26/09/2015, images migrated 02/05/2016
Updated: 07/01/2018 — 20:31

The Cross of Sacrifice

Visiting cemeteries looking for War Graves will mean that I will encounter the Cross of Sacrifice on a regular basis, and it is an easily recognisable and familiar object in many of the cemeteries that I visit. 
 
The first one I ever saw was at West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg, and this cemetery was really where my war grave photography started. I literally cut my teeth on war graves here, and while I have not been there in years I usually consider it a yardstick with which I compare other cemeteries to.
Cross of Sacrifice: West Park Cemetery, Johannesburg.

Cross of Sacrifice: West Park Cemetery, Johannesburg.

Designed in 1918 by Sir Reginald Blomfield for the Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission). It is present in Commonwealth war cemeteries containing 40 or more graves. The cross is an elongated Latin cross with Celtic dimensions whose shaft and crossarm are octagonal in shape and ranges in height from 18 to 24 feet (5.5 to 7.3 m). A bronze longsword, blade down, is affixed to the front of the cross (replaced in some cases by fibreglass replicas). It is usually mounted on an octagonal base.
Cross of Sacrifice: Brixton Cemetery, Johannesburg.

Cross of Sacrifice: Brixton Cemetery, Johannesburg.

Sadly the local vandals stole the sword from this cross as well as from the one in Brixton Cemetery, and this has been replaced. Sadly, when I first saw this Cross it was still in its vandalised state.  There are two crosses in Johannesburg, although there is no real dedicated war cemetery in the city. The closest war cemeteries are in Pretoria and of course my favourite is in Palmietkuil just outside Springs.
Cross of Sacrifice: Palmietkuil South War Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Palmietkuil South War Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Thaba Tswane New Military Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Thaba Tswane New Military Cemetery


Leaving South Africa I travelled east to Hong Kong where the Cross of Sacrifice stands at the bottom of the magnificent Sai Wan Military Cemetery.
 
Cross of Sacrifice: Sai Wan  Military Cemetery, Hong Kong

Cross of Sacrifice: Sai Wan Military Cemetery, Hong Kong


The Cross and headstones are of the white stone which is unlike the gray that we have in South Africa, and I would encounter that white stone when I moved to the United Kingdom.

In London there are a lot of these Monuments to our folly with warfare, and the first I encountered at Streatham Park Cemetery where it forms part of the war memorial. Unfortunately the weather on this day was gray and overcast, and at that point I did not really have a place where I could submit my images to any longer.

Cross of Sacrifice: Streatham Park Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Streatham Park Cemetery



The use of the Cross of Sacrifice as the centrepiece if the war memorial is quite a regular occurrence in the UK,
Cross of Sacrifice: Brockley/Motherwell Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Brockley/Motherwell Cemetery



The Cross of Sacrifice may also be found in four of the Magnificent Seven Victorian garden cemeteries in London.
Cross of Sacrifice:Highgate Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice:Highgate Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice:Abney Park Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice:Abney Park Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice: Kensall Green Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice: Kensall Green Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice:West Norwood Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice:West Norwood Cemetery, London


Oddly enough not all of the Magnificent Seven have a Cross of Sacrifice, although one was erected in Chelsea near the station and forms part of the local war memorial. Brompton Cemetery is not too far from here.
Cross of Sacrifice: outside Chelsea Station, London

Cross of Sacrifice: outside Chelsea Station, London


Moving from London to Southampton brought new challenges and places to visit, and one of the first places I visited was Hollybrook Cemetery.  There are two Crosses of Sacrifice in Hollybrook. The first is at the memorial to those who lost their lives at sea.


Cross of Sacrifice: Memorial to the Missing. Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton

Cross of Sacrifice: Memorial to the Missing. Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton


And of course there is another Cross of Sacrifice at the World War Two plot in Hollybrook.
Cross of Sacrifice: World War Two Plot. Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton

Cross of Sacrifice: World War Two Plot. Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton


Southampton is also home to Netley Military Cemetery, and it too has a Cross of Sacrifice.
Cross of Sacrifice: Netley Military Cemetery, Southampton

Cross of Sacrifice: Netley Military Cemetery, Southampton


Southampton Old Cemetery has a number of military burials within its walls and I spent many hours hunting them down. I also attended a wreath laying at the cemetery in 2013, and this grand old cemetery has a special place in my affections as a result.
Cross of Sacrifice: Southampton Old Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Southampton Old Cemetery


I only visited Winchester briefly and managed a visit to West Hill Cemetery which had a Cross of Sacrifice as part of the memorial within the cemetery.
Cross of Sacrifice: West Hill Cemetery, Winchester.

Cross of Sacrifice: West Hill Cemetery, Winchester.


I lived in Salisbury for just over a year and there was a Cross of Sacrifice in the London Road Cemetery, but none in Devizes Road Cemetery, although both of them had war graves in them.
Cross of Sacrifice: London Road Cemetery, Salisbury

Cross of Sacrifice: London Road Cemetery, Salisbury


Strangely enough, St Lawrence Church in Stratford Sub Castle had a small war graves plot presided over by a small Cross of Sacrifice. The graves were mostly of Australians from World War One.
Cross of Sacrifice: St Lawrence Churchyard, Stratford Sub Castle, Salisbury

Cross of Sacrifice: St Lawrence Churchyard, Stratford Sub Castle, Salisbury


My biggest war grave photography session was in Gosport, at Haslar Royal Navy Cemetery, and it was interesting because most of the pre World War Two graves had a different headstone to the standard CWGC one, but there was still a Cross of Sacrifice as a reminder of where you were.
Cross of Sacrifice: Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Gosport

Cross of Sacrifice: Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Gosport


I spent some time in Basingstoke and found that Worting Road Cemetery had a small CWGC plot with a Cross of Sacrifice in it.
Cross of Sacrifice: Worting Road Cemetery, Basingstoke.

Cross of Sacrifice: Worting Road Cemetery, Basingstoke.


And while I was in Basingstoke I managed to visit the magnificent military cemetery at Brookwood. There are two large Crosses of Sacrifice in this cemetery.

Cross of Sacrifice: Brookwood Military Cemetery.

Cross of Sacrifice: Brookwood Military Cemetery.

Cross of Sacrifice: Brookwood Military Cemetery.

I also visited the city of Bath which had a Cross incorporated into the town war memorial.

Cross of Sacrifice: Bath.

And the beautiful Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol has a Cross of Sacrifice at the “Sailors Corner”.

Cross of Sacrifice: Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol.

Cross of Sacrifice: Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol.


On a trip to Swindon I discovered a small Cross of Sacrifice in the Radnor Street Cemetery.
Cross of Sacrifice: Radnor Str Cemetery, Swindon

Cross of Sacrifice: Radnor Str Cemetery, Swindon


And on my visit to Reading I discovered the small Cross of Sacrifice in the local cemetery, keeping watch over the screen wall.
Cross of Sacrifice: Reading Cemetery.

Cross of Sacrifice: Reading Cemetery.


After Leaving Basingstoke I travelled North and ended up in Staffordshire, there I visited Cannock Chase Military Cemetery.
Cross of Sacrifice: Cannock Chase Military Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Cannock Chase Military Cemetery


And I found another Cross of Sacrifice in Warstone Lane Cemetery in Birmingham.
Cross of Sacrifice: Warstone Lane Cemetery, Birmingham

Cross of Sacrifice: Warstone Lane Cemetery, Birmingham


and another in Ryecroft Cenetery in the town of Walsall.
Cross of Sacrifice: Ryecroft Cemetery, Walsall.

Cross of Sacrifice: Ryecroft Cemetery, Walsall.


I now live in Tewkesbury, and the first Cross of Sacrifice I have encountered around here is at the beautiful Prestbury Cemetery in Cheltenham.

The point I am making is that wherever there is a Cross of Sacrifice there is a reminder that many servicemen and women, as well as civilians and their families were lost in the two World Wars, and they remind us that we must never walk down that terrible path again, because who will be left to erect even more war memorials or Crosses of Sacrifice?

I am sure I have forgotten a few of the crosses that I have seen, as I wade through my pics I am bound to find more of them, and will continue to find them as I explore more around me. The Cross of Sacrifice is a simple yet effective memorial, but it is so tragic that we need something like this in the first place.

© DRW 2015-2018. Created  20/09/2015, images migrated 01/05/2016

Updated: 31/12/2017 — 16:25

The Mythe Bridge

It is true; I am a bridge fan, and I have probably mentioned that bit of useless information on a number of occasions. My newest bridge to admire is known as the Mythe Bridge,  and it spans the Severn River very close to Tewkesbury. I had been looking for the bridge since arriving here, but have always headed off on a tangent without doing any serious homework. 
 
A chance remark by a co-worker led me to place where the bridge was, and this morning, while I had a few hours off work I headed off to confirm the theory.  
 
I had originally thought that the trestle bridge in this image was what I was looking for, it spans the marina but is not really accessible to gawkers like me as you need to have the requisite permit to get into the marina. 
 
My bridge was a bit further up the road, and surprisingly is not signposted all that well. The road that crosses the bridge is the A438, but I have no idea where it finally ends up.  It wasn’t too long a slog to get to either, and when I did arrive could not really see the bridge, just the road over it. I would need to access the river bank somehow.
 
On the approach to the bridge is the old toll house, with a plaque proclaiming it’s age.
 
  
Thomas Telford:  yet another of those famous engineers who left their mark on Britain. His legacy has remained with us, and this particular one was opened in April 1826.  I love reading about these bold engineers, they seem to see any obstacle as a mere challenge to overcome, and they do it with style and beauty. 
 
My attempt at photography could only be done from the other side of the bridge as waterfront access was almost impossible due to private property on either side. I crossed the bridge, noting how the pillars were looking somewhat weather worn. 
And then I found a public footpath leading down to the river bank. There were cowpats galore and trees and mud, and the view was lousy because the sun was in the wrong place. I abandoned that spot and headed for the other side of the road.where the view technically would be better.
 
And I was right.
Unfortunately the bridge is slightly wider than the camera could handle comfortably (I was using my phone and not my camera).  But I fired off shots as quick as I could because I am still not sure whether I was allowed in this area. (Some of these images have now been replaced with some that I took on 27 September). 
Six cast iron ribs span the the river without interfering with the water borne traffic, and while the river was empty on this morning, you can bet that 150 years ago it was a totally different story altogether. These rivers were the way freight was moved and a network of canals fed into them. Thomas Telford even building a few along the way.

 

Unfortunately the bridge does have a sign that reads “Weak Bridge”, and that really has to do more with the heavier traffic that it carries now compared to when it was built. Trucks vs horses and carts? fortunately the traffic is controlled by robots that allow cars to use the single lane that the bridge has, everybody gets a turn, and there are no minibus taxi’s pushing in.

The bridge is sagging in the middle though, and that is probably as a result of the increased traffic and weight. You can see  the sag in the image below.

 

With hindsight I probably could have done a better job with this pic, but then I was not on a full blown photography trip, just a quick jaunt to find the bridge while I had time. I will come back with a camera one day, the other fork in the road looks very interesting, and I believe there is a railway tunnel close by.
(Update 27/09. The railway tunnel is blocked off and fenced off too, so I could not get close to it. However, the other side I may still go hunt down. ) 
I returned to the road and recrossed again, pausing at the toll booth. If buildings could talk, what would this one tell us about the impact that this structure had on the people of the city?
 
And then it was time to head off to work. 
 
© DRW 2015-2018 Images migrated 17/09/2015
Updated: 31/12/2017 — 16:25

The Jet Age Museum in Gloucester

I had heard about this little museum when I visited the Mini Steam Fair in Tewkesbury in June and it has sat at the back of my mind for awhile. Although it is not too far from where I stay it is not exactly easy to reach because I have to get to Gloucester via Cheltenham first.  Fortunately the 94 Bus goes past the museum and I tentatively planned my visit for today as the weather was not really photography friendly enough for me to do much more than recce a graveyard and get my shoes soaked.  The Jet Age Museum  is situated in Meteor Business Park, Cheltenham Road, Gloucester, and it butts onto Gloucester Airport. Given that the majority of exhibits are from the Gloster stable of aircraft you can bet that this small airport has seen a lot of historic aircraft flying out of it. 
 
To start my day there was a nice display of vintage Riley cars outside the museum, and that was enough to make me drool at the seams. 
  
After some drooling I entered the museum. It is not a large space, but then even a large one can fill very quickly when there are aircraft on display. And, the first aircraft (or should I say replica) is the Gloster E28/39
  
This aircraft is the granddaddy of British Jet Aircraft (only this is a replica of the granddaddy). The jet engine in it was designed by Frank Whittle and it was an aircraft that changed history. This replica comes from a set of glass fibre mouldings made by the Sir Frank Whittle Commemorative Group. It is a small unassuming aircraft from which great things came.
 
The only Allied jet aircraft built during the war was the twin engined Gloster Meteor,  which served in a number of theatres during and after the war and which served as a testbed for a number of developments in aviation. There are quite a few survivors and the museum has a number of variations of the aircraft.
  
Pride of place goes to the Gloster Meteor F8 (WH3644)
 
There is also a two seater version  T7 (WF784)
 
and a night fighter version which was built by Armstrong-Whitworth and designated the NF14 (WS807)
 
There are two other examples which are not part of the display but i cannot identify them yet.
 

Actually outside the museum hall there are really only these aircraft on display, as well as the cockpits for Hawker Siddeley HS-121 Trident 3B G-AWZU, which I did not get to see inside. and another aircraft which I will get back to at the end of the blog.
Back inside the museum, there is also a Gloster Javelin on display. This large delta winged fighter is quite an impressive machine.

This particular example is a FAW9 (XH903). It is a substantial aircraft, and was really the precursor to the famous English Electric Lightning.

There is one more Javelin at the airport, and it is quite far from the museum and missing its wings and tailfins and is  FAW4 (XA634). I grabbed this image from the bus last week.

The other aircraft at the museum is a Gloster Gamecock reproduction.

as well as a Hawker Hurricane reproduction which was built out of plywood to star in the movie “The Battle of Britain”.

Real Hurricanes are rare beasties, and a replica is better than nothing at all.

There are a number of other exhibits of engines and models and cockpits at the museum, but they all pale into insignificance when facing up to the main exhibit outside.

Unfortunately the rest of the aircraft is not behind the wall, and this is only the cockpit of the most famous of the V Bombers. The Avro Vulcan. This particular cockpit is from a B2 version XM569.

There were three V Bombers in service: The Valiant, Victor and the Vulcan, and the last has become a legend in its own right, having participated in the the famous “Black Buck”  bombing raids on the Falkland Islands; which, at almost  12,600 km and 16 hours for the return journey, were the longest-ranged bombing raids in history at that time.

The cockpit is open for visits and I was fortunate enough to sit in the right hand seat as well as one of the rear facing seat (electronics warfare officer?).

The cockpit seats 5 and the seating/operating area is small and crowded and I have no idea how it must have felt to sit in that small space wearing all that gear for so long. Comfort does not come into the equation.

 
I will be honest, the Vulcan was such a great find, the only other one I have seen was at RAF Cosford although I had hoped that I would get to see one in flight, but the chances are very small as the only remaining flying one will stop flying in October. 
 
The museum also has a Canberra, Vampire and a Gladiator under restoration somewhere. Fortunately I have seen the  first two before, but the Gladiator is also a rare beastie.
 
That was the Jet Age Museum, and it was great. A small museum with a big heart and a great collection. Entrance is free and it is better to check their website for opening times and dates.
 
© DRW 2015-2018. Created 05/08/2015, images migrated 01/05/2016
Updated: 22/06/2018 — 12:41
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