Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Fat Plane: A Manly Post of Memories

Photo: Airborne Engineers Association
One for the boys today!   I see from its website that the Bovington Tank Museum that I visited when I was a nipper has gone from strength to strength. There was an aircraft museum at Southend when I was young. Alas it was closed down in the eighties.My favourite exhibit was the Beverley transport plane, like this one here.  It was huge and tubby, aerodynamically like a bee but could fly and indeed the Southend exhibit made a transatlantic crossing.   The inside was sparse.  It seem like a load of servicemen were strapped in seats around the edges with the cargo in the middle.  No onboard films or drinkies in those days.

Why am I talking about this stuff when I should be purring about kitten heels or doling out make up tips like a good girl?  Despite my penchant for dresses and skirts, perhaps even now there's more than a shred of the tomboy about me.  Interest in a bit of blokey stuff doesn't do any harm.

What I really liked about these places was that, back in my childhood, you could climb all over the exhibits. There was none of that namby-pamby risk assessment shite then as I've suggested before in my 'I survived the '70s' post.  I used to come home from a family day out as happy as Larry, covered in grime from ancient machine parts and black and blue after my adventures in cockpits and gun turrets had turned a little too wild.   I got really excited by the MIG graveyard that they showed once on Top Gear.   My inner child wanted to explore all those old wrecked planes.   By the way Papa Lovelygrey used to work at Southend airport near the museum.  He tells tales of how he repaired and retained aircraft brake systems from a manual that was about as detailed as one for an electric toothbrush.  It seemed that Health and Safety wasn't that hot in the aviation industry back then either.

The aircraft museum closed in the '80s.  So what happened to the behemoth of a plane that I reminisce so fondly about.  I'd hoped that it was wrapped up in cotton wool or better still had groups of kids of today rooting around its interior.  Sadly though it was scrapped. No!  The last plane of its kind remaining is in aircraft museum near Hull. Look after it well please curators

4 comments:

  1. Two very strange looking military transporters flew overhead yesterday. They looked old, and were probably part of a nearby display. I looked for them on the net, but couldn't find them.

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    1. Wouldn't be a Beverley given there's only one of them left then!

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  2. I have a passion for planes, old and new, they excite me beyond belief. The year before last my local museum (http://mkmuseum-1940sweekend.weebly.com/) had a Lancaster fly around, the year before a Spitfire. They fly over my house and you know what throaty engine noises those produce. After the Lancaster, I was walking to our local club and a Dakota flew overhead - you may imagine my excitement. I looked up the number later on, it was flown by a woman! How marvellous.

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    1. Glad to hear that they're not just boy's toys. x

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