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240. A Curate’s Egg day

23/05/2016

Firstly, the disappointment.

We’d arranged several weeks ago to meet up with Joe Shute, the Features Editor of the Daily Telegraph, since they’d expressed an interest in running a feature on 1264. He’d contacted us to say that he couldn’t make the appointment, but we’d made an alternative arrangement for today, on the strength of which Theo and I drove the 3 hours to Shuttleworth to meet him. In fact, Sue had taken the day off work and we’d driven up the night before and we’d stayed in a hotel on Sunday night in order to be sure of being there on time. The time we’d arranged was 1000, and when nobody had turned up at 1100, I rang his mobile. I could tell from the ringtone that he was abroad, and about an hour after that I got an apologetic SMS saying he’d had to go to Moscow at short notice, and hoped I didn’t mind too much.

I understand that a newspaper needs to be able to respond at short notice to events, and I understand that the decision may not have been Joe’s but if they want to be able to have people investigating stories at short notice, they must employ have sufficient resources to do so without letting others down.

The paper’s behaviour is simply unprofessional, and I do feel considerably aggrieved and hope they will have the decency to offer a formal apology and some sort of restitution.

Happily, however, the day was not wasted, as we rolled 1264 out into the sunshine and spent a happy day talking to visitors to the Collection.

We’d also arranged to meet Jem Shaw and his brother Martin. As you’ll see from the link, Jem is an author and artist with an interest in WWI, and had contacted me to thank me for the information in these scribbles which had helped him produce a truly excellent illustration of a Bristol Scout called ‘First Kite‘.

His brother is Martin, the actor and TV star and experienced pilot, and they both said they’d love to come and have a look at 1264, and we spent a very pleasant day showing them around and chewing the fat. We swapped prints with Jem, and we’ll be in contact again, I’m sure – we have a great deal in common with both of them, and indeed their friend Bruce Monks, an ex-Harrier pilot who used to display the Stearman belonging to himself and Martin.

David, Jem Shaw, Martin Shaw, Bruce Monk, Theo Willford, Richard Chillingford

David, Jem Shaw, Martin Shaw, Bruce Monk, Theo Willford, Richard Chillingford

Martin Shaw sat in 1264.

Martin Shaw sat in 1264.

And finally we were able to test out the RNAS coat we’d had made at Wested Leather. It’s very, very heavy and the leather is luxuriously supple, and we all took to it immediately – as you can see!

Sue getting into leather

Sue getting into leather

Theo getting into the mood...

Theo getting into the mood…

 

 

 

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