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179. Dedication

22/06/2015

Saturday 21 June.

The forecast was decidedly iffy, with rain in the morning, showers throughout the day, and the possibility of thunderstorms in the evening.

The hangar in which 1264 was stored overnight was full of the most beautiful vintage gliders, none of whom was prepared to come out if there was any chance of rain, so they were moved to one side and we rolled 1264 out into a very light drizzle, alongside the BE2f belonging to the WWI Aviation Heritage Trust.

We were directed to a spot right next to the VIP tent, which was a real privilege. Soon afterwards, the distinctive electric blue Bristol 400 car belonging to Sir George White pulled up alongside, and he and his wife Joanna got out, looking very smart despite the rather muddy, damp conditions.

We spoke to Steve Slater who was to do the commentary about timings and so on, and set up the table to sell copies of the parts list. Sir George started a production line to sign some of them, with us builders following suit behind.

At about 1230, we hauled the Scout over the crowd line to airside, and Steve began the introductions. All three of us got the chance to say our bit, and then Sir George gave a wonderful short speech and proceeded to sign the propeller.

 

I felt a lump appearing unbidden in my throat, and when we’d all posed for loads and loads of photographs, we turned the aircraft into wind and started her up. As always, she performed faultlessly for the crowd, and we got another great round of applause.

Photograph by Adrian Balch, Adrianb@photopress.plus.com

Photograph by Adrian Balch, Adrianb@photopress.plus.com

Sir George White endorsing 1264. This makes it a PROPER Bristol aeroplane!

Sir George White endorsing 1264. This makes it a PROPER Bristol aeroplane!

Thereafter, it was a question of dodging the showers for the rest of the day. The weather meant that a good deal of the flying display was cancelled, and the numbers of people about thinned considerably throughout the afternoon. Nevertheless, a good deal of interest was shown, and we had family and friends who’d come specially, so it was great to catch up with them.

Rick and his partner Marian

Rick and his partner Marian

 

Three proud builders

Three proud builders

 

The whole team. Sir George White, Rick Bremner, Marian Green, David and Sue Bremner, Theo Willford.

The whole team. Sir George White, Rick Bremner, Marian Green, David and Sue Bremner, Theo Willford.

Then about 1600 we could see a particularly large, dark cloud approaching, so all the aircraft were hurriedly wheeled into the hangar. We just made it before the big downpour, and were huddled in alongside the BE2f and all of the WWI Display team aircraft.

We got a chance to talk to the owner and pilot of one of their Fokker Dr1s, Peter Bond, who’d contacted us ages ago about the possibility of building a Bristol Scout. He’s currently on with a Sopwith Camel, apparently, but he was a great guy and it’s such a pleasure to meet like-minded people who know what it takes to complete a project like this!

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