Brooklands visit

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John in his natural habitat

Cody visited the Brooklands Museum in late November and had a wonderful time. This is a very interesting place where some of the earliest achievements in British aviation occurred. As well as aircraft to look over and inside there were also many other exhibits. Some are great big things or strange objects such as a stratospheric chamber which was a surprise. Another more familiar looking large exhibit is a Concorde aircraft. Others displays were smaller, such as tiny biplanes and sound recordings of workers who made planes on this site. A really fascinating exhibit is a Wellington bomber that crashed into Loch Ness and was under water for 45 years. It was discovered by an American team looking for Nessie! The aeroplane has been restored to show its basic structure. Cody member John acted as our guide and he added greatly to our enjoyment of the visit. John knows a lot about aviation and navigation and he led us very well – thank you John! One of the aircraft on display is a┬áVarsity on which John did his RAF navigational training. When we got to the navigation desk on this plane John moved quickly and professionally into the seat and began to show us how all the instruments worked. It could have been back in the day!

There is much to see here and we could not do it all in a day even though we moved along purposefully. Del was an apprentice here back in the 1980s when aeroplanes were made on the site and he told us that he had not been back since he left. Memory lane for him. Our visit was very well timed because a major new exhibit hall showing off the Wellington and much other material had just been formally opened a couple of weeks ago. Some of us had been before, others of us said that they just need a bit of Cody encouragement to visit a place that they had always meant to visit but never had! We were amazed that so many aviation firsts had come from this site and that despite this the British aircraft industry had pretty well collapsed now. What went wrong?

This is such an interesting museum and we all agreed that we would like to come back another time to see what we had not had time to see on this visit. For Cody members who are not much enthused by the history of British aviation a future Cody social visit in the New Year will be to a National Trust house such as Petworth!

Stephen