- 2012: Part-003 - UK-Part Two -


- UK Portion: PART TWO: Wales & England -

A Few Words Of Thanks

I must acknowledge, and with GREAT thanks for their continued kindnesses and generosity with their time, all of our friends in the UK, who looked after us so very well.  GeeTwo and his lady, maxi, in Wales, were and always have been a true delight to spend any time at all with.  Thank you both VERY much.

I must also thank Grimly and his lovely wife, thisgirlsub, for taking me to all the various aviation and steam museums, where I am sure he got as much joy out of what we saw and experienced as I did.  We share a great number of the same interests and this was the perfect way to enjoy them. Grimly, my sincere thanks for all of your time and trouble.

The day after we arrived from Glasgow, it was time to vacuum the lawn and generally get ready for the party on the Saturday.  Thhisgirlsub tried a few swan dive poses, aided and abetted buy both Grimly and GeeTwo.

Henry enjoyed himself watching the frolics and did stuff with a banana that we couldn't quite believe.

Grimly just sat back and took life easy and then Henry brought out some of his beautifully made equipment and soon had begun demonstrating it to the ladies.  Later we celebrated with our friends and enjoyed a specially made, Maple Leaf cake.

The next day, it was off to Neyland Yacht Haven to go for a ride on GeeTwo's boat, down the Milford Haven towards the refinery, then back up the river.

Truly, only GeeTwo and Maxi are the sailors in our little group and they looked after us well, and too, when any of us were given control of the tiller and engine, watched us like hawks, understandably!


- Aviation Porn, Below -

Above, a  NEPTUNE anti-submarine aircraft

Above five pix are of one of the pair of surviving examples of the BAC TSR-II, supersonic, reconnaissance aircraft.  It suffered the same fate as the Canadian AVRO Arrow, CF-105, but at least the British had the sense to keep the aircraft

Above Left ... an English Electric, supersonic interceptor.  Above Right, a Bristol Bloodhound SAM

Above ... a Bristol Britannia.  My first long haul flight was on the Canadian derivative, the CL-44, Yukon.


We spent a pleasant afternoon on a barge tour through the canals of central Birmingham, if I remember correctly.


- More Aviation Porn -


- Steam Locomotive Porn -

The Railway Museum at York is definitely worth a visit.

The A4 Pacific type engine, Sir Nigel Gresley (is named after its designer).  A sister locomotive, Mallard, holds the worlds all time speed record for a steam locomotive at a sustained speed of 126 MPH, achieved away back on July 3rd, 1938.  The engine is today still fully operational and a beautiful piece of British engineering.

On the footplate of the Sir Nigel Gresley .... there is NO other set of smells that come even close to those of hot steel and iron, high pressure steam and a coal fired boiler.  Just being in the cab of the engine makes one fully aware that this is a living, breathing mechanical being that has incredible power.


- At the Scarborough Fair Museum -


- Around Scarborough Harbour and waterfront -



- Additional aviation & military porn at both Waddington and Duxford -

A Canadian CF-100 Interceptor ... surprising in a UK museum :-).

On the left, a Lysander and on the right, the Short Bro's. Sunderland flying boat.

The other TSR-II ... a magnificent aircraft.

The classic, WW-II heavy bomber, an AVRO Lancaster.  THE most capable in its role for the entirety of the war, bar none, until the B-29 and even that had limited success.

Another classic AVRO design ... the VULCAN bomber, of which there is still one flying at this writing (23 Dec., 2014), aircraft XH-558, based at Robin Hood Airport, UK.

Another MOST capable British WW-II aircraft ... the deHavilland Mosquito called the Wooden Wonder, originally designed in 1938.  This was the fastest twin engine (a 12 cylinder Merlin on each side). multi-role aircraft in WW-II.  IT carried the same bomb load as a B-17 (with 5 times the number of crew, at half the speed) of 4,000 lb.  If the Americans had had ANY brains, they'd have built THESE airplanes rather than the B-17's.

The British equivalent of the justifiably feared German 88 mm multi-role artillery piece.  This is a QF 3.7 in piece.

The six pix immediately above show a naval gun turret modified for shore defence.

WW-II German V-1 Buzz Bomb (so called because of the noise made by the pulse jet engine) and launching ramp.

Two of the barrel sections of Canadian designer, Gerald Bull's super gun made for Sadam Hussein.  Never fired.

Two above ... typical WW-II RAF Ops Room.  NOT a mock up but the real thing.

Three pix immediately above ... THIS is the Vulcan bomber that dropped the bombs on the Port Stanley, Falkland Islands Airport runway.  An incredible journey and piece of aviation history.  If you're interested in reading how it was done (typical British 'muddling through') you should read, VULCAN 607.


... and now for something completely different ... me trying on a version of my my Isolation Helmet at the actual Top-To-Bottom studio.  It is SOMETHING else :-)!