Confessions of a Convert – M’Blog Part One
I won’t tell you how many blameless years I spent on this planet (a lady never reveals her age…ahem) without having more than a passing interest in aviation history, but let me assure you, it was quite a few. My husband has, for some years now, spread the Vulcan love around Twitter, the t’interweb and our living room, the hallway, the bedside tables…and yet, I had not felt the urge to get caught up in the hype.
I’ve always had a massive interest in anything historic – museums are among some of my favourite places, as are historical properties, country parks and anywhere I can buy books! I must admit, though, that my interest in aviation had been limited to an occasional visit to RAF Cosford.
Imagine the scene…here am I, an innocent among avgeeks…wondering what the deal was all about. Myself and my lovely husband had just been for a visit to Charlecote Park, Warwickshire and were about to get in the car to wend our weary way home when a cry was heard…
Get out of the car! Quick! Get out of the car!’
OMG – as the youf says – what’s all the fuss about? Has a large hornet flown in through the open car window? Are the National Trust running round the car park giving away free samples of organic honey? Has there been a new book written on the impact of the Great War on the Country House? But no. I fell out of the car, just in time to see one of the most amazing sights it has ever been my privilege to witness.
Vulcan XH558 – coming up over the horizon in all her glory. The sun glinted off her wings, catching the light in that special way that only a Vulcan can. Engines roaring, people pointing and children wetting themselves in fear and excitement.
Awe-inspiring? Yes. Awesome? Definitely. Amazing? Absolutely. I can quite confidently claim to have been completely gobsmacked. But, never one to be rendered speechless in any situation, my tongue expressed the thoughts my reeling mind could not sufficiently frame…
Not necessarily the best language in a National Trust car park, but these were mitigating circumstances.
Since that day I’ve been hooked, almost literally in the case of climbing out of the co-pilots seat in XM655…really should not have worn trousers with lots of pockets…but that’s a story for another day…
My quest to get close to Vulcans, Victors and the last Valiant have taken me all over the…well, I’d like to say world, to be fair it’s more like up and down the M1…but still…I’ve been to places I wouldn’t have ordinarily been and seen sights I wouldn’t have ordinarily seen. I’ve met some fantastic people, heard some amazing stories and drunk a lot of tea.
So, my friends – and I hope I can call you all friends after spraffing at you for the last ten minutes – in conclusion, you’re never too old to fall out of a car at the sight of engineering glory, it’s never too late to get involved in a project, and, in the case of my husband and his lovely friends – if you can’t beat them – join them!