Monday, 11 July 2011

What's up?

A doctor friend of mine has just finished building a little light-aircraft next to this grass strip, just outside Bath. It is attached to a shop which specialises in selling tackle, etc. for horses, as well as country clothing and shooting gear. It's called 'Wadswick Country Stores', and I have often thought about making them a musical advert for local radio, which begins with me singing the first three syllables two times, followed by a rousing finale of, "... Wadswick Country Stores!" ... Oh, never mind.

There is one, small problem with this strip, however. See that rather large tree right at the end of the runway? It had the gall to start growing right there, about 100 years before the strip was laid out, and now - if you are caught by a down-draught on landing, or use insufficient power on take-off - there is a tendency to catch one's undercarriage in the uppermost branches, or more of the plane if the wind/error is greater. This happened a couple of years ago, and the pilot was seriously injured. The plane was a write-off.

A few miles away, on the far side of the valley, there is another small landing strip near the village of Marshfield. A few years ago, a ninety something year-old German man was taken for a sight-seeing trip over Bath, taking off and landing from this strip.

The reason why he was invited over for the flight was that he had been one of the original WW2 bomber pilots who had smashed Bath to pieces for two nights during the war, and they thought he might like to pop over and take a look at his handiwork in daylight, albeit about 70 years after the event.

After the trip was over, and when they landed the plane at Marshfield, they crashed it with him in it. Nobody was hurt, but the plane had to be towed away on a trailer, minus it's wings.

Late last year, I read that the old boy had finally died in his home town in Germany - of natural causes.

It took a while, but we got him in the end.


  1. Reminds me of the elderly woman who was celebrating her 90th birthday. Her grandchildren had only got to 'bump' No 83, when she died.

  2. It reminded me of that lovely old war veteran on TV the other week - I think he had reached 105 or something and somebody asked him the secret of his long life and his reply was - keep breathing.

  3. Angels one-five! Tally-ho! Dug-a-dug-aduggagagaga!

  4. Oh that last line was pure gold, Tom. You're a classic! xx