Sunday, 1 May 2016

When the gasman cometh.

Sunday 1st May

               Lady Watson had decreed that the gas boiler needed looked at again for the third time in three weeks(lucky I'm not a suspicious man)therefore I headed for the sunnier climes of the air museum at East Fortune to see if they had anything new to offer.I wasn't disappointed.Since my last visit last year during a WW2 re-enactment day they've moved some of the exhibits around.On arrival I was greeted by the gorgeous view of a F4 Phantom which in my opinion along with the Hawker Hunter are the two most beautiful planes in history.The Phantom is displayed beside a workhorse of the Royal Navy and later the crabs,a Blackburn Buccaneer, and the both of them could do with a lick of paint.Last year there was a Jaguar beside them but obviously they think that navy planes are more durable than airforce planes as the Jaguar had been moved inside.
 Whilst parking my car(or as Lady Watson says 'dumping it!') I spotted a WW2 Matador truck parked up in a garage whilst opposite in another garage was a 'green goddess' fire engine from the 40's and used during every fireman's strike since.
This lorry actually came from Malta and I seen its brother outside the museum in Valletta.
                                          My plan was to visit the hangars on the outskirts of the museum before heading into the Concorde hangar and the necessary refreshments.I  first visited a disused building which had been converted into a room  for displaying a history of the airfield from early times with the departure of R34 airship which flew across the Atlantic stopped for a burger and flew back again.
                                 There were videos and photographs  of the airfields part in both world wars and also its role if we had foolishly entered into a third one.Its last role before closing down was to act the part of Edinburgh airport whilst Turnhouse's runway was being repaired.
Doesn't even have the bullseye on its nose.
  From there I ventured into the hangar with different forms of civil aviation from autogiros to small passenger airliners.I thought I had struck lucky and seen Little Nellie from You Only Live Twice but alas it wasn't Ken Wallis's creation but a much later machine from the eighties-Bah!The hangar also contained a small fire engine used on the island of Barra.
                                          I crossed towards my favourite hangar containing all the proper hardware in the form of military aircraft stopping off to inspect an old air raid shelter on the way.True to form overkill health and safety had kicked in and  the actual trench where the airmen had ran for cover had been filled in.Obviously common sense has been knocked out of society since WW2.
First type of plane I ever flew in.
   I had seen all these planes many times before but they still amaze me especially the Seahawk and the Sea Venom.Apart from these we have Harrier,Tornado,Meteor and a dainty Mig 15 amongst other aircraft with the ubiquitous Spitfire hanging from the ceiling like an Airfix kit.

Kissing cousins.
What a bod!
Outside the hangar was a Thunderbird missile on its launcher.This was the British army's answer to the Bloodhound.
Obviously looking for a very low target.
                      Onwards and upwards towards the last remaining hangar before Concorde's.When I got there I was disappointed to find that it was out of use but that was soon consoled by the shape of the Avro Vulcan standing regally,master of all it surveys.What a beast!I could just have imagined these Argies,sleepy eyed,heading for their breakfast when this thing came hurtling up the runway at Port Stanley airport in April 1982.Also the fact that one of these babies was in Thunderball makes me smile.This actual plane was the one that had to land in Brazil and was only handed back when we said it wouldn't get used again in the conflict-yeh whatever.
Oh baby!
                                      After a liitle rest of the weary bones I headed towards the Concorde hangar stopping of for a bowl of soup in the cafe-Tomato and chilli-anybody has any problems with sinuses try this soup.Fuel for a flamethrower.
                                        I always find this hangar the least interesting.Fair enough it has a Concorde and stacks of memorabilia but I don't find it earthshattering, but if it draws the crowds and the money who am I to argue.
                                      My day was finished off with a perusal of the gift shop,buying a book about WW2 airfields in the Lothians only to find I already had it.More money than sense!
                                        A good day had by one and all.Even Lady Watson had a smile on her face-must have been the gasman!


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