#twitterVforce 1st anniversary – Operation Cosford 23/11/2013




WOW……What an amazing sortie the last 12 months have been – from its humble beginnings as a hash tag leading to…..a blog site, Cold War Road Trips, launch of a website,  dedicated V Force forum, VTTST/VTTSC Events listings, chats with John Falk and Tony Blackman amongst many, @VForceHQ, #VForceHistory, #VulcanFriday, Eric Esler/VX790 at FAST Museum, 1st online auction for Lusty Lindy, countless emails being sent worldwide,  guest blogs,  exclusive XH558 interview, airshows, Wings & Wheels, tweet ups, mentions by XH558 twitter feed, our own You Tube videos……

I could continue…………. and for a long time.

Organisation commenced for Operation Cosford in early July with DM’s, emails, phone calls and WhatsApp messages to various folk culminating with the gathering at RAF Museum Cosford 23/11/2013.

Many thanks to all of those who were able to help us celebrate, some of our followers were unable to attend but let me reassure you, you were with us in spirit.

But that’s not the end, following on from the day I have been gathering thoughts and pictures from some of  those who attended and you will find them all reproduced here in the order that I received them. Let’s just say to act as a momento for us, and an insight for others.

To view a gallery of pictures taken on the day please visit the #twitterVforce You Tube site at:


(make sure you turn the volume up)

What a fantastic day

Until the next time ……………..


From Matthew WARD (@HistoryNeedsYou)…

“It was really wonderful to meet and share with #twitterVforce at RAF Cosford, celebrating those who designed, built, fixed and flew the Mighty V’s. I learned far more from my friends in #twitterVforce in one short afternoon than I have in years of reading and studying.

The V’s are metal, wire, plastic and paint but this was really a celebration of the fifth element, the human element that gave them flight. #twitterVforce plays an important part in supporting those that maintain not only the surviving V’s but their engineering legacy.

Many young people are now involved in maintaining the aircraft and will embark on a career in aeronautical engineering as a result.

Here’s to the future, not just of #twitterVforce but of the next generation of aeronautical engineers, designers and technicians”.


From Rob HALL (@RobExRAF)…

The 23rd of November 2013….the first anniversary of  #twitterVforce coming into being to promote the British V Force and all things that fly.
So, a meeting at RAF Museum Cosford, that’s all I know….apart from Rod and Mrs Rod I don’t really know who’s coming,  then through twitter, that magic medium I start to get an idea …its all twitter friends who have an interest in aviation and all things V Force. So off I go, arriving at 10.00am just in time for coffee and a bacon cob while waiting for the others to arrive ….while in the café I meet @TD4XXIIII otherwise know as Vicky (she gets to play with Vulcan XM598). More geeky chats. Soon people start arriving , AvroVulcan617, who’s know as Andy  in real life, Siobhan and Graham, Andy No 2 and April all appear together. Soon everyone’s chatting  away and very soon Dave Taylor and AvGeekette, his better half, arrive along with Lindsay and her partner.
Soon everyone’s getting on like a house on fire, avgeeks having a happy time in a museum full of aircraft …more tongues hanging out than a boxful of puppies….anyway soon after up comes the man himself Rod and Mrs Rod, the creator along with Dave and AvGeekette of #twitterVforce.
So the scene is set and off we go a wandering, this band of happy geeks. Hanger 3 for TSR2 and AvroVulcan Andy’s tongue hits the floor and just about stays there, like the rest of us its like kids in a sweet shop……Rods not happy …someone’s pinched the Avro 707 oh dear!!..and put an EAP in its place this is what became the Typhoon. Well, whilst wandering around there John Wood and Bob Miller appear, co-authors of Avro Vulcan Diamond Jubilee the day is complete? We think.  Well after a wander over to the Cold War hanger and more sights like three V bombers together, the only place in the world where there is.
It’s time for a well deserved coffee where we get chatting and those that haven’t been to Cosford before wander off to get photos and look around. Then surprise of the day !! Matthew Ward the History Guy arrived and that was it …day complete. after a day of planeporn and great conversation the day was over far too quickly, we got some of us into a group shot but more were missing ….but what a day !! We went home a happy band of avgeeks and we enjoyed the first Birthday of #twitterVforce. Here’s to the next one, and if I’ve missed anyone or got your names wrong ..sorry”.


From Lindsay Rumbold (@Lins_Rumbold)…

Driving up to Cosford for the #twitterVforce meet, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Apart from meeting Rod again, spending time gazing wistfully at TSR2 (I may need therapy for my TSR2 fixation), and of course taking in the rest of the museum, the thought of meeting lots of people off the internet suddenly seemed strange.

I needn’t have worried.  Turns out a bunch of #avgeeks who all share a love of planes and the V-Force can find plenty to talk about, even in a freezing cold car park!

Highlights?  It was great to put yet more faces to Twitter names; all I need to say to introduce myself is “I made the TSR2 cake”; hearing the story of the “haunted” Lincoln from Dave V-Force and AvGeekette was fascinating.  It was also a privilege to get my “Vulcan: 60 Glorious Years” book signed by both John Wood and Robert Miller

Plus, of course, being up close to the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant trio and wandering round Cosford’s excellent Cold War exhibition meant that the plot bunnies were given lots of food for my planned Cold War novel … which, of course, features Vulcans.  The downside of being an #avgeek is my plot is getting technically complicated, so if anyone can give me a crash course on mid-1960s Vulcan ECM systems, that would be brilliant!


From Andy Crowcroft (@Crowy79)…

 On the 23rd of November 2013 I had the pleasure of spending the day at Cosford RAF Museum with the #twitterVforce family, I’ve got to admit the journey down was an experience and such a laugh (you know who you are) but after arriving and finally getting to put faces to names, we ventured out into the museum of which I have to admit this is my third time here, and I never get bored of looking around.

My best surprise of the day was the Eurofighter prototype, I had no idea they had this beast and was really blown away by how different it looked to the Eurofighter we have now, there’s just something about it that makes it look like a different aircraft. Something else I was looking forward to was having a look at the Dornier 17 wreckage that was raised from the The Goodwin Sands, now I have mixed feelings with this as after seeing what is left, I have no idea how this can be put back together, but at the same time it’s great that this is the last sample of this particular aircraft.

The day panned out brilliantly and as usual when I made it into the Cold War Hangar you can’t help but realise how awesome this collection is, not to mention the last sample of Vickers Valiant XD818 which is the actual craft used to drop the first hydrogen bomb made by Britain on Christmas Island. As usual you can’t help but just stand there and gaze, I mean they have a Vulcan, Victor, Valiant, Lightning and Canberra, need I say more.

On that note I just want to say a big thank you to @ROD558 @DaveVForce and @AvGeekette for arranging this fantastic day and we should definitely do it again soon.


From April (@apie01)…

 I was excited about my first visit to Cosford for the V force meet up.  Mr AvroVulcan617 picked us up early and we headed off for an entertaining road trip with Siobhan, Andy & Graham.  On arrival,  we all met in the refuel cafe and it was great to put ‘twitter ‘names to faces and to look at Robert Miller & John Wood’s informative book ‘Celebrating 60 Glorious years of the Vulcan’ .  We also heard about Lindsey’s talent for making beautiful aircraft shaped cakes including some lovely vulcan biscuits. 
I was particularly looking forward to seeing the Vickers Valiant B1 in the Cold War hanger as I had not seen one before and I wasn’t disappointed as the Handley Page Victor K2 and Avro Vulcan XM598 were nearby completing my three favourites.   The Electric Lightning XG337 is suspended up right from the ceiling making for excellent photo opportunities too.  Being a Kentish girl I was pleased to finally get to see the Dornier 17 which was rescued from the seabed off the Kent coast in June this year.  The museum team are doing a great job of cleaning and restoring her. 
After many cups of tea, mince pies and trying not to buy too much in the amazing shop it was time to head back.  We made our way out to the car park and said our farewells.
The day was a great success and it was good to see after the positive feedback and sharing of wonderful photos on the twitter feed.  Thanks for organising Rod and I’m looking forward to the next meet up!


From Dave T (@DaveVforce)…

Dave: “Hey Rod! – twitterVforce.com is nearly a year old soon, doesn’t time fly!”

It only seems like five minutes since I was stood on the dispersal pan with Rod, beneath the delta wings of Vulcan XM655 talking about ideas for #tVf & only a few minutes since pouring over web code to bring it all to life!

Rod: “How about an anniversary meetup to celebrate? – Maybe the museum at RAF Cosford?”

Dave: “Sounds good! Lets get an invite list put together…”

Well at the time it seemed like ages away but then suddenly before no time at all we were in the car off to pick up an excited Rod & Sally from the railway station, off on another #twitterVforce road trip! – Operation Cosford was on!

Enroute and as an extra treat we called in at what has sometimes been described as my ‘second home’ – The mysterious and ancient site of Guy’s Cliffe House near Warwick.  This old mansion and it’s grounds are privately owned but as Secretary of it’s preservation group I’m lucky enough to have access all areas!  As Rod & Sally found out the house and grounds seems to not only exude history but when it’s cold there it’s blumin cold! A microclimate of it’s very own…

So, then we headed off to RAF Cosford, as always the M6 was a pleasure! But we were all kept very entertained and amused along the way, we do love our get togethers and road trips!

We arrived at the museum, I think we were last there as it happens! A few familiar faces greeted us, plus some introductions of peeps only known to us by their twitter usernames, yet their reputations proceeded them! In a good way though! – These were some of the many people who have very happily adopted the #twitterVforce doodah and on this particular day brought a group of people together with a common interest.  I was chuffed, along with Rod, that if the concept had acheived something, it was gaining some great new friends and fellow enthusiasts along the way!

Would just like to add along those lines, if you’re at an airshow and you see one of us with a #twitterVforce t-shirt on, pop over and say hi, we won’t bite!

So off we went around Cosford, making slow progress around the exhibits, which was great! – So many stories and snippets of information, we all had a really good time!  We must have been sat in the Cold War hangar cafe for a couple of hours talking, plus gazing up at the Vulcan & Victor, with the Valiant just out of sight further into the hangar.

Eventually after many hours we realised they did actually want to close the museum for the evening! We made our way to the car park for some more lengthy discussions!  After those and even throwing some ideas in for the next #twitterVforce meetup location and event, we all agreed on the next one, but we’re not letting on just yet folks!

Thank you to all those who joined us, a fantastic venue and superb company, we look forward to the next one!  Cheers!!




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