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 Varsity 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!
Seventy years ago, in 1948, a group of scientists at the Royal Aircraft Establishment had the idea of using one of the ex – German ‘windfall’ yachts for cruising and sail training and decided to form a sailing club – the RAE Sailing Club. A few years later many members had bought or built their own yachts and in addition, a vigorous dinghy sailing section had been formed offering sail training to RYA standards and day cruises in the Solent and South Coast. Later still, dinghy cruising had been expanded to include sailing camps in the West Country and in other more distant sailing waters. Seventy years on, the club has changed its name and is no longer based at Farnborough but still has a very active membership and sailing programme. Well worth the celebratory dinner – described below!
Celebrating our yesterdays!
Our thanks and appreciation must go to the committee and helpers who planned, organised, and thoroughly researched to create a wonderful and entertaining evening to mark 70 years of sailing under the guise of CodySC / DERASC, DRASC, and RAESC.
And so it was, to the day, that Cody celebrated its 70th anniversary on 10th November 2018. A gathering of some 50 current and former members enjoyed a feast of a meal at the Devils Punchbowl Hotel at Hindhead. We mustered and mingled with friends of yesteryear – our reminisces prompted by a salvo of slides simultaneously displaying many of us with hair and figures now long gone. The first course was preceded by a welcome and introduction from our current commodore, immediately followed by Cody’s answer to the two Ronnie’s (or was is Ant and Dec?) – Gordon and Pete reminded us of the early years and the founding of the club – then known as the Royal Aircraft Establishment Sailing Club (RAESC) – I say reminded but much of our early history was completely unknown to many of us present – who knew that we had access to a 40ft windfall yacht? Our next speaker was former Cody (RAESC) commodore – with so much history to cover Mike focussed on the “characters” of the club – Mike did a superb run though of some of more colourful members and their often bazaar exploits – it seems that being a bit mad has always been the essence of Cody membership. Twix main course and dessert Mike recounted a tale of an early cruise (an extract of the Bronzewing cruise) which was highly amusing and very much emphasized the fun that was, and still is, sailing with Cody. After pud it was time for a second offering from Little and Large (Gordon and Pete – in no particular order!) to bring us up to date with some more recent past exploits, and acknowledge those who drove the club as it gradually moved its core from cruiser (yachts) toward an emphasis of dinghy sailing and camping. The evening was rounded off with coffee and a presentation of flowers to Vanessa and Sarah to show appreciation for their sterling efforts to organise what was a splendid evening.
Many of the participants at the dinner stayed overnight at the hotel and on the following day a walk had been arranged. This was led by one of Steve’s friends, a local historian, who guided the party around the Devil’s Punchbowl and provided historical snippets on the way.