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180. Basking in Glory – and sunshine

22/06/2015

Sunday 21 June.

The forecast for today was overcast all day. In fact it turned out to be a great deal better than that, and it was a perfect day for an aviation event. Yesterday’s weather had precluded the arrival of the Bristol Blenheim from Duxford. This was an event of truly historical significance for Bicester, which operated Blenheims for many years, and this was the first time one had landed here for 70 years.

Another lump in the throat as those impossibly soft Bristol Mercury engines whispered onto the grass.

Then we took it upon ourselves to roll the Scout out and park it alongside the Blenheim. This was our historic moment; the first and last Bristol designs by Frank Barnwell.

After that, the White’s two lovely Bristol cars – the 400 and the 404 – were parked in front of the two aircraft, and for us and Sir George this was a real moment to treasure.

Bristol Scout and Bristol 400.

Bristol Scout and Bristol 400.

 

Bristol Scout and Bristol Blenhiem - Frank Barnwell's first and last designs for Bristol, together with Bristol 400 and 404 cars. Oh - and a Spifire PR Mk 11 in the background!

Bristol Scout and Bristol Blenhiem – Frank Barnwell’s first and last designs for Bristol, together with Bristol 400 and 404 cars. Oh – and a Spifire PR Mk 11 in the background!

Later, just before the Blenheim started up and taxied out, we ran the engine again, and wheeled 1264 back to its display spot, where we spent the rest of a sunny afternoon watching brilliant displays by the Blenheim, a couple of Spitfires, the WWI Display team (very slick, and a commendably tight routine) and waited for the Vulcan, which in the end got delayed and couldn’t make it.

Low pass by Spitfire PR Mk 11.

Low pass by Spitfire PR Mk 11.

We had 1264 packed away in the trailer and the trailer parked up within an hour and a half, and were home by around 2130, more or less voiceless and legless, but it had been a truly memorable weekend.

 

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