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Bristol , United Kingdom
My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, will be published early in 2022 by Indigo Dreams. I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy. https://theleapingword.com

Friday, 18 October 2019

'After argosies on the sea, argosies in the sky'

There were perils attached to growing up in a town, the local name of which in British Sign Language translates as 'aeroplane'. The worst was being dragged, by a son-less father, to the annual air show that was held on the airfield. (So loud, those Harrier Jump Jets!) By the time the Aerospace Museum opened in Autumn 2017, I'd recovered enough to try to persuade my by then very frail father to let me push him around it in a wheelchair. He flatly refused. And then, four months later, he died. So that was that. 

Except I've been more blessed than my father in the son department, and the younger one wanted to go regardless. And eventually, on a day too rainy for our planned walk, we went. 

I'm not going to give a potted history of flying machines in Filton, though it was fascinating to see the effect on the development of the then village the factory had. 

To the rest of it, I paid attention as diligently as I could. And when I couldn't, I took photos of Son the Younger paying diligent attention. 


Of course, what we'd really gone there for was Concorde, which was so much a part of both our childhoods. I'd watched the maiden flight on 9th April 1969 from my primary school playground in Filton. Son the Younger had watched the final flight home, on 26th November 2003, from his.  

Here's the hangar. 

And here's the first glimpse. 



Even the technical stuff was interesting. 






It's snug on board.



Apparently John Wayne was too big to fit right inside the toilet cubicle and the stewards had to hold up a curtain when he wanted to use it. 







I confess I let sentimentality overtake any modern-day notions of carbon footprints and sustainability and had a small teary feeling at the end of our visit ... 


... while Son the Younger took a moment to explore the likely future of Filton's aircraft industry post Brexit. 

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