Friday, 24 February 2012

A303 Wrecks and Relics

Welcome, today we go right back to where it all started. Its early 1970 and on the way back from a school field trip to Cornwall I spot some interesting things  as the coach grinds slowly up the A303, so an expedition is planned. So grab your Kodak Instamatic ( remember those?) and sink back into the luxury of the leather bench seats (handbrake on the right by the door) whilst you admire the Burr Walnut dashboard of the 1960 Singer Gazelle (bought for £25  jointly with your mate and insured for £15 tpft for two 17 year olds! read and weep all you youngsters) no need to chip in for the petrol as its 6s2d a gallon ( 31p in this new fangeled monopoly money) so we can fill the tank for less than a fiver. Its amazing what you could do by working saturdays as a petrol pump attendant ( remember those ?). Where did it all go wrong ?  ( don't get me started on that or I will have to start writing another blog on the subject!).

Anyway back to business , we head off past Windsor to the A303  eventually arriving at a wind and rain swept Blackbushe, and not an aircraft to be seen on the apron ( a far cry from the British Eagle days). A polite request to the friendly controller gets us permission to drive round the taxyway to the far side of the airfield , as long as we promise not to drive on the runway, and give way to any aircraft. Arriving outside the hangar  we find parked in the long grass a number of ex Royal Navy WS51 Dragonfly Helicopter's in various states of  disrepair.

Moving on down the A303 we arrive at an equally rain swept and deserted Thruxton, with not a person to be seen during our visit, but parked out are the remains of several Avro Anson C21's unfortunately with all identity removed. The Anson being of particular  nostalgia to me having seen the formation of 5 Anson's practising for the farewell flypast when they were withdrawn from service with the Metropolitan Communications Squadron at RAF Bovingdon a couple of years previously.

And so as the Gazelle heads slowly up the single carriageway of the A303  we say say goodbye to Roger and Reggie till next time.

P.S. if you would like to feed the fish, just left click some food into the pond.


  1. I came across this blog by accident and it takes me back, as an aircraft spotter during the 1970s.

    Living under the Heathrow flightpath I began by clocking the numbers under the wings of the airliners and the occasional "light" landing at LHR, then progressed to days out to Elstree, Denham, Booker, Blackbushe, Redhill and other such places whenever pocket money would permit.

    I didn't realise how long ago the seventies was until until I saw some of your wonderful photos.

    I've bookmarked the site and will be looking in when I can. Well done on an excellent piece of work.

    Best wishes

    ink cartridges

  2. Glad you like the blog, look out for the next one which will be an instamatic view of Luton.


    Uncle Roger