Confessions of a Convert – M’Blog Part 3 – Three go AvGeeky at Cosford
#twitterVforce Tour 2013 – RAF Museum Cosford
I have always been aware that there is a 7 o’clock on a Saturday morning, but I had tended to approach it from the other side and then go to bed to sleep all day. So, as you can imagine, I started my day in a state of shock when I was woken at 7 o’clock one Saturday morning not too long ago and advised to get myself moving as we had an appointment to keep.
The unceremonious removal of the duvet from my sleeping self indicated to me that there would be no messing about tolerated on this most special of days.
Now, to give you a bit of background, on the previous weekend it had been my birthday. And, each year, my lovely husband and I take a trip to the RAF Museum Cosford – my favourite aviation museum. This year we decided to combine my birthday visit with a #twitterVforce road trip, hence the earliness of the hour as we had to go and pick up an iRod.
So, off I go to get ready while my husband goes through all the usual pre trip checks…
Cans of coke…check
Binoculars (although I’m not sure why)…check
Proper walking shoes to stop AvGeekette whinging about achey feet…check
Spare socks…see above…check
Flapjack…ah…um…no, forgot to make that…
Sat Nav…’No need!’ I shout…’We’ve been there so many times I know the way blindfold…’
Please note – I never drive blindfold…and neither should anyone other than a qualified stuntman on a proper stunt track…or something like.
Of course, while on our way to the train station I realise that I don’t have enough petrol to get us all the way to Cosford and back, so we have to stop – which resolves the flapjack issue, but regrettably makes us ten minutes late to meet Rod.
Ah yes…Rod. Never a more smiley man was seen that our Rod when we got to the train station. I somehow think that all his Christmases’, or at least 2013 Saturday treats, had come at once.
I shall spare you the details of the journey to Cosford, but needless to say, both Rod and my husband, when put in the same car, outgeeked an entire forum of aviation fanatics. Complete with dodgy Brummie impressions by Rod…
‘Is this our junction?’ I ask…thinking perhaps I should have brought the SatNav.
My passengers merely point at the large RAF Museum sign at the side of the motorway and smile.
Having reached our destination – as the SatNav would have said, had I brought it – I gave my passengers a short, sharp lecture based on memories of what my parents would have said to me:
‘Now…behave yourselves, don’t touch anything, no running, no shouting and don’t give me a reason to make you go and sit in the car…’
Suitably chastened, the lads followed me to the reception area. As RAF Museum Cosford is free entry (Yes, FREE!!) we wandered straight through the building to the first fantastic sight of the day.
The last time we had been to Cosford, Hawker Siddeley R. 1 Nimrod XV249 had been lying in pieces beyond the barrier between the First Flight Hangar and the Cold War Hangar. This time…there she was in all her glory. And I must say she looked wonderful.
But! There was no time to stand and stare, to paraphrase Davies…there were other more pressing sights to see!
On entry into the First Flight hangar, a beeline was made to the left where a large white doodah stood. Now, I must admit, I am no fan of the TSR-2…compared with other wonders of design, I often look at the TSR-2 and wonder who came up with the idea of sticking wings on a fridge. But there is no accounting for taste and I have to mention it as Rod is a massive fan. So massive a fan indeed that he spent nearly an hour stood next to it, under it and around it – having sweet talked a likewise besotted member of staff to allow him to cross the hallowed border of the trip hazard that passes for a barrier. And there he stayed, alternating between it and the exhibit next to it…the Avro 707…a jet much more to my liking.
Despite giving the impression that he was there to stay and about to set up camp, we eventually persuaded Rod to move to the next hangar. It is here that I introduced Rod to my favourite exhibit – Avro Lincoln RF398. The only complete Lincoln in the world and a beautiful sight to see.
It was while I was sharing some of my knowledge of the lovely Lincoln that Rod developed the strangest cough. It started off as just an ordinary everyday cough, but then somehow metamorphosed into something that sounded much like the word ‘geek’. Not an affliction I had ever heard of…but the cough got worse and worse as the day went on!
Having trundled round the First Flight hangar, I decided that that would be a good time to stop for lunch.
Have you ever witnessed grown men bouncing up and down in their seats? If not, then take an avgeek to an aviation museum and make them stop for a break halfway through! I know – I’m cruel….
Finally we approached the doors to the Cold War Hangar. Having trundled round the #twitterVforce forums and Twitter, I now realise what a big deal this is. Within a couple of seconds of walking through the door, I’d lost Rod…last seen gazing in wonder at the Valiant and saying…’She’s sooooo big! I didn’t think she’d be THAT big…WOW!’ and taking many many many….many photos.
Not wishing to spoil it for anyone, I’ll keep it brief. RAF Museum Cosford is the only museum in the world to have all three of our beloved V Force. The Handley Page Victor K.2 XH672, the Avro Vulcan B2 XM598 and the Vickers Valiant B1 XD818. All in the same place and, if viewed from a specific point, all can be seen at the same time albeit in a squashed kind of way. It’s totally worth a visit just to view these three iconic bombers.
Considering this was the first aviation museum I ever went to, back in…ahem, least said…I realise what a lucky girl I am to have had the privilege to see these three fine jets all in one place as my first museum experience.
It certainly seemed to make an impression on the #twitterVforce team – never a happier, smilier bunch of people were seen regretfully leaving the museum that day. We lingered in the car park swapping stories of our favourite exhibits until finally heading home.
But we’ll be back!