Saturday, 7 November 2015

Moving Fast Forward

Look, I'm catching up, we're almost up to date!

Fast forward, April 2015.  Spring felt as though it was in full flood as we headed down to Cambridge for a few nights at the Caravan Club site.  The reason behind the trip out was to go & have a nose around the Imperial War Museum, Duxford which was also hosting a classic car auction.

I must confess to having plenty of time for classic aircraft AND motorbikes, thanks to my late father who was a keen private pilot & a former 'ton-up-kid' well into middle age.  So l grew up surrounded by DH chipmunks, Austers, Norton & Scott motorbikes.

The aircraft museum itself was stuffed to the gunnels with aircraft of all ages & types, dust as well l noted.  Concorde was fascinating, l can remember it flying over Cheltenham on test runs as a child, everyone running out into the road pointing to the heavens gasping 'look, it's CONCORDE'.

The car & motorbike auctions could have been slightly boring, but all l did was annoy husband by pointing to this marque or that explaining 'dad had one of those & one of those'.

One of my father's last bikes was a Manx Norton, he bought this just as the law changed & helmets became compulsory, much to his displeasure.  He purchased a helmet disguised as a flat cap & greatly enjoyed thumbing his nose whenever he was pulled over by the boys in blue for not wearing a helmet.

I was quiet emotional when l saw this aircraft, beautifully restored by the way, l learnt to fly in this, a de Havilland Chipmunk.   I remember doing a 'wing-over' above Newent Parish Church!  I think l wrote in my  log book, 'don't fly upside down as money will fall out of your pocket'.  Whilst reminiscing,  l can remember flying in the front seat to Le Touguet via Gatwick, where we put on life jackets, & somehow l had managed to turn off the RT, so here we were coming in on finals, with no radio contact with the control tower, dad completely unaware that the radio was turned off, that is until a Boeing 707 cracked through telling us to turn our radio ON!  I really enjoyed my large bowl of shrimps at Le Touquet airport!

Dad's first plane was an Auster, and there was a lovely concours condition one here.  It was really something to chat to the owner discussing planes with tail wheels.

I'm always confused by April's weather, you always expect the worst but more often than not are pleasantly surprised.  Here it was then, blue skies & almost tee shirt weather, almost but not quiet!

Whilst in the area, we also visited Audley End having to enter the grounds via the exit as the impressive gate house was built long before the days of motorhomes & coaches!

Not liking to stay too long in one place, we headed eastwards visiting historic sites en-route to the coast..  Framlingham Castle was gloriously spooky despite the lovely spring day & blossom loaded trees.

The night's stop was right on the coast at the CC site at the interestingly named Kessingland.  Out of season this had the feel of a remote & desolate place, but in fact was as fascinating one.  A wide shingle  beach, nature reserves & wide open skies makes this place truly magical, though, perhaps not in high season.

Onwards now, towards home.  There are so many historical & archaeological sites in East Anglia. New day, new experience.

This time to one of the most fascinating neolithic sites in England, Grimes Graves.  The long drive through the forest then across the heath, building up to an area of humps, bumps & craters.

Grimes Graves are not some vast burial ground but are in fact neolithic flint mines, where you can go don hard hats then zip down into one of the larger holes.  It is mind blowing to think that these ancient miners worked by hand with reindeer antler picks.   Fascinating.

So, after a night at the Thetford Forest CC site, very nice, lots of squirrels plus a few newbie motorhomers trying out their vehicles for the first time, we headed north for the A1 & home.

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