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211. Shuttleworth engineering weekend

04/01/2016

It’s been a very productive weekend all round.

On Friday I hitched up the trailer to the Toyota and drove to Old Warden. It’s about four hours at towing speeds, and although I was confident about the combination on the motorway, I was nevertheless delighted at how very much better it goes now. I set a speed of 52mph all the way and it drove as if on rails. There was never the slightest uncertainty at that speed, and I arrived completely relaxed to find Theo already there and waiting to get 1264 unloaded and rigged. Rory, from the Shuttleworth Collection, had turned up specially on his day off to open up for us, and with three of us she was assembled in no time, parked next to the Bristol Fighter.

For the first time we rigged the bombs in their proper place, and very good they looked. As you can see, if we ever ran the engine with them in place, they would immediately get drowned in oil, so they are strictly for static display only!

2016-01-02 Shuttleworth Engineering Workshop Bombs

We set off for the hotel which took a little longer than we expected, to find we were the only guests, and the proprietors gave us our keys and left, giving us the combination of the side door to ensure we could get in and out. It was a very odd sensation being the only two occupants in a hotel, and we headed off to the pub far a meal before getting back for an early night.

The doors opened on the Saturday morning at 0930 and there were queues of people waiting to get in. From then through to the close at 1600 we were talking to interested – and interesting – visitors non-stop. There was barely time for a cup of tea, never mind anything to eat.

2016-01-02 Shuttleworth Engineering Workshop General

 

 

 

All of them were interested in the Scout, and many of them were very interesting people in their own right. We were introduced to Matt Pettit, the man whose facility is carrying out the maintenance on the Mk 1 Hurricane sat near us, which is the only one to have taken part in the Battle of Britain, and even shot down five enemy aircraft.

But the most amazing thing occurred. Grandad’s only air-to-air engagement was with a Fokker Eindekker on 25 March 1916. He and Flt Lt Savory (in a Nieuport 11) were escorting a Nieuport 12 Gunbus back to Imbros when the Eindekker appeared from astern. In the ensuing combat, Grandad loosed off a drum of ammunition at the Eindekker and Savory had a go at him as well.

In fact Savory’s name appears quite a bit in his logbook about this time. well, a chap introduced himself halfway through the morning, and it transpired that he is Savory’s grandson!

We talked for a long time about Savory who had a very distinguished wartime career, including sinking the first ship ever using an air-launched torpedo, bombing Constantinople in June 1916 (for which he got a DSO), and ferrying a large bomber all the way from England to Mudros in 1917 with which he bombed the German battleship Goeben and other targets in Constantinople (for which he got a bar to his DSO).

During the conversation, it came out that we’d both been in Royal Navy from 1972-1976 – another amazing coincidence. We’ve exchanged contact details and will keep in touch.

Ian Hamon-Watt,  Fl Lt Savory's grandson...

Ian Hamon-Watt, Fl Lt Savory’s grandson…

All in all, it was a really great weekend.

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5 Comments
  1. Errol Cavit permalink

    Thanks for your continued updates.
    Looking at one of Huw Hopkins’ photos
    Scout and Hurricane
    I wonder if the bombs often struck the undercarriage when dropped. Do you have any information on this?

    • Yes. Grandad did quite a lot of bombing, aiming through a hole in the floor. Generally it seems to have worked okay, but once he dropped them doing only 38kt, and with the increased angle of attack at that speed they bounced off his axle…

  2. Errol Cavit permalink

    Exciting times!
    Thanks again.

  3. He didn’t say, but since he got back okay, it can’t have been too bad!

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