Sunday, 28 August 2011

Visit to the RAF Manston Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum

No flying yesterday so my aviation fix was a trip down to the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum at RAF Manston.

What a lovely place. It takes about an hour to go around the small building but there are so many thought provoking artifacts to look at, ponder and generally absorb. As you may expect there are many personal items so generously donated by the widows of our brave airmen. It's everything a memorial should be. Humbling, inspirational and yet sad in parts. One can't fail to be moved by the magnificence of it all.

My "goodie bag" consisted of a Spitfire Pilot Handbook and a wonderful DVD called "Supermarine SPITFIRE - The Pilots View" [which I watched while the family were equally absorbed in X-Factor]. Its a wonderful first hand account by pilots who flew them and one who still does for airshow purposes. In one part of this, this modern day pilot is doing an annual test after some work on the ailerons and puts it through some aerobatics. There is a wide angle camera looking forward from his left shoulder area. It's absolutely great.

I'll sign off now by adding that while sipping our mugs of tea outside the cafe afterwards we also had the privilege of watching a Spitfire where she belongs .... roaring overhead.

A fantastic day. Please visit if you have time and donate generously. This memorial runs entirely from donations from the public.

More photos can be found on my corresponding blog page 'RAF Manston Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum'

To The Figher Pilot

The Poets & The War XXXIX

By Greta Briggs.
The War Illustrated, Volume 3, No. 66, Page 616, December 6, 1940.
He is so young and joyous, yet he bears
The fate of nations on his shoulders now.
His roaring Spitfire thunders up the sky;
To him the drone of engines seems a song.
He rides the cloud-pavilioned lists that lie
Between earth's surface and the evening star;
His feats of arms are such as men have not
Dared heretofore. His brief reports can vie
With all the ballads of those knights and kings
Whose deeds were red-hot news in Camelot.
He has a threefold England in his charge:
The old-world England we have loved so long,
And then the splendid England of today,
And finally, the England yet to be!
We pass him in the street – a knight who wears
Not golden spurs, perhaps, but shining wings.

Daily Telegraph

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