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Past Events - 2016

Three Men in a Boat - Don, Robin, Roger and a dog! – August 2016

three men in a boat

Don, Robin and Roger met recently to discuss their Three Men in a Boat challenge.They hoped to complete the sail in 4 days and raise lots of money for MacMillan, an amazing charity.

Anyone wishing to make a donation knows that they can just log onto the "Just Giving" website and type "Don Breakspear" in the search box at the top - there are 2 donation boxes open.

Or use this link:

Now just look at the riffraff you find on the Thames these days. Jim and Sue saw this lot at Sonning Bridge Friday Lunchtime. They said they were doing it to raise money for Macmillan Nurses, perhaps other club members might wish to donate.

They have already raised £300, including donations handed to us en route like that kindly made by Jim and Sue, and hope to get up to £500.

The trip could not have been managed without the endless help of our liaison officer, Stephen Lloyd. Emergency services were not called upon but it was a close thing at times!

This expedition must have produced some interesting stories, and it is hoped that the participants will write them up so that we can all join in.

Buttercup Bounce - 2016

2016 Buttercup Bounce

line up

2016 Buttercup Bounce

Gina and Roger

Each year we welcome the family of our dear friend Bob Smith who sadly died a while ago. His Grandson and Granddaughter Paolo and Gina choose their favourite car. This year the Bob Smith Memorial Trophy went to Roger Brown.

A row of sticks and four cans with lots of speed and reversing produced interesting results and was won by Roger Brown in his Cambridge Special. The bucket on driverís head slalom was fun with an assortment of very young navigators who showed the grownups how to do it. Well done Len and Gina. The tennis ball on plate balanced on the bonnet was won by Martin Barnes.

2016 Buttercup Bounce

got it!

2016 Buttercup Bounce


P.S We were glad to welcome back Graham and Sheila Maguire who raised the tone somewhat with a picnic table decorated by a candelabra and vase of flowers.

What class !!

Thank you Betty and Graham for once again putting up with the mayhem and for allowing our favourite event.

Visit to FAST - April 2016

2016 Visit to FAST

Since my youth I have been interested in aviation, so I was very pleased when Roger Horsfield announced that he was organising a Club visit to FAST – Farnborough Aviation Science Trust Museum on 2nd April.

We assembled as instructed just before 1200 in the FAST car park. Fortuitously the Swan pub was just across the road, and the party retreated for lunch. Good food, but 30 covers arriving at the same time stretched their logistics a bit. At 1400 we walked across the road to FAST Museum.

The museum is free, manned by volunteers, normally only open at weekends. On the corner outside is a statue of William Cody – an aviation pioneer who tested his ideas at Farnborough. In contrast and right behind it there is an English Electric Lightning, a supersonic interceptor and mainstay of our defences in 1960s and 70s.

William Cody achieved the first recognised powered heavier than air flight in Great Britain in 16th October 1908. Sadly he was killed in 1913 on a demonstration flight when his aircraft failed. At FAST there is a new Cody Pavilion with replicas of his kites and first aeroplane on show.

2016 Visit to FAST

2016 Visit to FAST

Farnborough was really introduced to aeronautical matters when the Army Balloon Factory moved to the north side of Farnborough Common from Aldershot in 1906. The first airship flew in 1907, the first army aeroplane in 1908. Aircraft research and production began in 1910 when the site became known as the Royal Aircraft Factory and by 1912 aircraft production was underway. Activity greatly increased through World War 1, but aircraft production stopped in 1918 at the end of the war and work concentrated on research. The establishment was renamed Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) to avoid confusion with the newly formed Royal Air Force (RAF)

The museum is housed in the former Army Balloon Factory buildings and arranged outside are a number of aircraft which were used by RAE Farnborough over the years on various research and development missions. They include two Hunters, a Harrier, a Jaguar, Puma and Gazelle helicopters, a fuselage section of a Concorde and nose sections of a Canberra and Trident.

In the buildings are rooms dedicated to particular aspects of RAE work over the years. There are scale models and photographs of aircraft being used in trials. There are engines and key parts of engines. There are instruments and equipment used in research into key technologies such as communications, navigation, bomb and gun aiming. There are wind tunnel models of aircraft we recognise today also of developments that are unfamiliar. They worked on advanced materials and their application such as carbon fibre wings.

On a human scale there is a Concorde cockpit mock up and a Harrier cockpit simulator. There is a small display of photographs and equipment showing how aircraft were built at the Royal Aircraft Factory during World War 1 – machining and doping aircraft fabric.

2016 Visit to FAST
2016 Visit to FAST

Thank you Roger for organising the visit to a proper, serious museum.

by Roger Brown

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