Attention Grabber – Spitfire Merlin Engine Coffee Table

Spitfire Merlin Engine Coffee Table on Solent Airfield Hampshire

Spitfire Merlin Engine Coffee Table at Solent Airport. Copyright Anne Grant

Autumn has arrived and with it a new programme of events.

No evening classes available yet on how to up-cycling your old aircraft engine into a coffee table, like this old Spitfire Merlin engine (unless you know different?) but go to the Notice Board page for details of upcoming talks and events in the area.

More will be added as news comes in.

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Launching Soon – Historic Aviation TV Channel

Aviators Lounge TV Channel to launch in autumn of 2019. Logo Aviators Lounge.

Aviators Lounge TV Channel to launch in autumn of 2019. Logo Aviators Lounge.

A new aviation documentary channel is due to launch in the autumn of 2019. Aviators Lounge aims to be a window into the world of historic aviation, featuring videos, podcasts, films and blogs.    To sign up to their mailing list and be kept informed of launch progress, click on this link to Aviators Lounge TV for imminent Chocks Away!

D-Day 75 at Daedalus. Douglas Dakota and Paras returned from DAKS OVER NORMANDY Paratroopers Drop June 2019. Copyright Anne Grant.

D-Day 75 at Daedalus. Dakota and Paras returned from DAKS OVER NORMANDY Paratroopers D-Day 75 Drop, June 2019. Copyright Anne Grant.

D-Day 75 Commemorations – Then and Now

HMS Collingwood and D-Day Veteran Frank Baugh, 95, spoke to the assembled at Bayeaux War Cemetery, on 6 June 2019, about his experience 75 years. His vivid, abiding memory was of the slaughter of soldiers he had taken to the Normandy Beaches, in his landing craft. Cut down as they left his craft. He was unable to help them. He moved his audience to tears. His achingly painful description was interrupted, for me, by the doorbell ringing.

Gosport D-Day Memorial at Hardway. Copyright Anne Grant.

Gosport D-Day Memorial at Hardway. Inscription: Our everlasting gratitude to those brave men.

Delivery day for a very large parcel and a jolt back to the trivialised present day reality.
The burly delivery man placed the package just inside the porch.
He said he couldn’t risk stepping inside the front door with the package, in case he tripped and injured him. Not covered by his company, he said.
Heaven help us!
What must the D-Day Veterans think of today’s Britain?
We definitely won’t see their like again. We will remember them.

Fantastic New Look ATA Museum Website Launched

ATA Museum website image. Maidenhead Heritage Museum.

ATA Museum website image. Courtesy of Maidenhead Heritage Museum.

The Maidenhead Heritage Centre has done some splendid work by adding a wealth of resources to their Air Transport Auxiliary pages on a tremendous new website. Congratulations to web master Matthew.

Check out what is available – from the ATA Ferry Pilots Log Books collection, to an impressive Photographic Section, from a Personnel Database, to an Online Archive.

The photo above is one example – Wing Walking with a difference! My thanks to Maidenhead Heritage Museum for permission to use it here.

The Museum website is the ‘Go To’ site for Researchers of ATA history and for all ATA Admirers.

Follow this link to Air Transport Auxiliary Museum and Archive.

 

Trump for Portsmouth, White-Suit Bell for Southwick, D-Day Descendants sought for Southampton

A round up of news announcements for the D-Day 75 events:

President Donald Trump may attend the D-Day 75 Commemorations at Southsea and Portsmouth, along with other Heads of State including the Queen of England.

On Wednesday 5 June events will get off to a flying start with a Fly Past of 26 Royal Air Force aircraft over Southsea Common.

Arthur Bailey, D-Day Veteran, at Lee Flying Association Hanger for D-Day 70 Commemorations

D-Day Veteran Arthur Bailey from Portsmouth at Daedalus. Lest we forget, Arthur spoke to school groups.
Copyright Anne Grant.

It is hoped that about 300 British Veterans will be able to attend to be honoured in the commemorations.

On Friday 7 June an original piece of work will be performed for the first time, ‘D-Day 75: A Musical Documentary.’

Composed by Jason Olsen of Britain, it will be performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, on Southsea Common.

This unique work will be a collection of memories and stories by the D-Day Veterans, as retold by them to some Portsmouth schoolchildren, and set to music by James Olsen.

Martin Bell book War And The Death Of News

Martin Bell, War And The Death Of News, From Battlefield To Newsroom My Fifty Years In Journalism

Southwick Revival (Portsdown Hill) has announced an addition to their guest speaker list in the Village Marquee, former BBC war reporter Martin Bell (the Man in the White Suit).

Bell adopted this persona when he stood for election as a parliamentary MP during the height of the MPs’ expenses scandal ten years ago.

He wrote an entertaining book on the scandal, ‘A Very British Revolution.’

His latest book is called, ‘War and the Death of News: From Battlefield to Newsroom – My Fifty Years in Journalism.’  Martin will be at Southwick on Saturday 8 June.
Follow this link to book a ticket at Southwick Revival.

D-Day 75 at Daedalus, Solent Airport, weekedn of 8 and 9 June 2019

D-DAY 75 at Daedalus June 8 and 9, 2019

D-Day 75 at Daedalus, Lee-on-the-Solent (Solent Airport), has a two day event set for Saturday 8 June and Sunday 9 June.

Display teams include the wing walkers AeroSuperBatics, the Round Canopy Display Team parachutists and the Great War Display Team.

Tickets are selling very fast.
Follow this link to D-Day 75 at Daedalus for more tickets.

In Southampton a different activity is taking place.
The Maritime Archaeology Trust is working on a major project to record the names of troops who etched their names onto a wall as they waited to depart for France.

Maritime Archaeology Trust project - D-Day Stories From The Walls Logo

Maritime Archaeology Trust project – D-Day Stories From The Walls Logo. Names and Towns of Troops who left for D-Day 6 June 1944.

The men also scratched in the names of their home towns.

Volunteers are wanted to research the names and towns to try to record the story of those men.

The greater task will be trying to locate the Veteran survivors or their descendants.

D-Day Memorial at Hardway, Gosport, Hampshire. Copyright Anne Grant

D-Day Memorial at Hardway, Gosport, Hampshire. Copyright Anne Grant

The old wall of names needs to be preserved as time and weather has started to erode the etchings.

The Trust aims to create an online interactive 3D model.

An estimated 3.5 million troops left for France via Southampton between D-Day June 6, 1944 and the end of the war.

Of that number, two million were American.
The other 1.5 million were British and Canadian.

They left the shores of the Solent as various points along the beaches.

Any super genealogists who want to get involved, follow this link to Maritime Archaeology Trust.

Canadian D-Day Memorial Stokes Bay, Gosport. Isle of Wight visible across the Solent.

Canadian D-Day Memorial Stokes Bay, Gosport. Isle of Wight visible across the Solent. Copyright Anne Grant.

Many Canadians left from places like Stokes Bay, Gosport.

Many of the British left from Hardway, Gosport, (including my uncle who could see his beloved Isle of Wight across the water and tantalisingly out of reach):

More update news will appear here as it comes in.

Cushioncraft Coming Home!

Britten-Norman Cushion Craft CC7 (C/N 005) on sea trials in the Solent. New acquisition of Wight Aviation Museum

Britten-Norman Cushion Craft CC7 (C/N 005) on sea trials in the Solent

Wight Aviation Museum announce the good news that they have secured the Britten-Norman cushion craft CC7 XX102 C/N 005, the second to last built. Supporters have donated £1,100 so far, which will pay for the transportation from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to the Isle of Wight.

A loan has been secured to purchase the craft so fundraising continues apace to repay the loan.

Phil Phillips, regular contributor to this website, has supplied this photo of the engine bay of sister cushion craft of C/N 001.

Britten-Norman Cushion Craft CC7 Engine Bay, C/N 001

Britten-Norman Cushion Craft CC7 Engine Bay.

Phil did all the electrical wiring. He proudly says, “All my own work!”

John Kenyon, Chair of Wight Aviation Museum, has announced, “We are very grateful to people that worked on this craft for contacting us and offering to help us with restoration.
Additional support has been provided by the Hovercraft Museum, who has a sister craft CC7 in their museum at Lee on Solent, and Warwick Jacobs, the founding father of that museum. We really appreciate their help.
There will be a dedicated WAM Cushioncraft team on the ground at Sandown Isle of Wight Airport including our hovercraft guru Nikki Wilkes who has a vast knowledge and contacts we can tap into to support this project.”

“Finally, we still need a substantial amount of money, c.£15,000, to do a professional job of restoration to bring it up to a high quality museum exhibit and to repay the original loan. Please use the same platform listed below until 30 April to remit funds direct, so everyone can see the total climbing!

https://mydonate.bt.com/events/wightaviationmuseum/479553

Wight Aviation Museum - WAM - of Sandown Airfield, Isle of Wight, England

Wight Aviation Museum – WAM – of Sandown Airfield, Isle of Wight, England

The appeal will close on 30 April 2019 as BT has withdrawn their MyDonate support to Charities.
After this date we will be reopening the appeal on another platform, Virgin Money Giving.
Thank you all for your continuing support.”

D-DAY 75 at DAEDALUS

D-Day 75 at Daedalus, Solent Airport, weekedn of 8 and 9 June 2019

D-DAY 75 at Daedalus June 8 and 9, 2019

To commemorate the anniversary of the D-Day Landings, which took place 75 years ago on 6 June 1944, an event will take place at Solent Airport, Lee-on-the-Solent, on the weekend of 8 and 9 June, 2019.

Five years ago a similar event was staged at the same venue.

In addition to the airfield displays, the town of Lee joined in with style.

The High Street was transported back to the era.

Lee High Street shop window of Navy Uniforms dressed for D-Day 70 Commemorations

Lee High Street shop window of Navy Uniforms dressed for D-Day 70. Copyright Anne Grant.

Shops and businesses made their own creative mark on the occasion.

Jitterbug Jivers, Lee High Street, D-Day 70, Lee on the Solent

Jitterbug Jivers, Lee High Street, D-Day 70. Copyright Anne Grant.

Re-enactors looked the part.

Jitterbug dancers and singers got everyone in the mood.

Charity stall holders all added to the atmosphere.

Here is a selection of images from that day.

A 1947 Chevrolet PFF 437 in Lee on the Solent High Street.

Chevrolet PFF 437 in Lee on the Solent High Street, 3rd June 2014. Copyright Anne Grant.

This year a weekend of festivities is planned by Fareham Borough Council at the airfield, which includes static aircraft displays, music, children’s motor cycle display team, vintage cars, stalls, some flying aircraft, and much more.

Watch this space for more news.