Friday, 18 December 2009

Glider

The season's greetings to All.

I recently came upon a photo. of a Slingsby Grasshopper glider that rang a bell. I'm pretty sure that this is the type that we had in the CCF during the 1950s, housed in collapsed form in a 'hanger' at the bottom of the School field. (I've put the photo. in my 'Pip's Pics.' album).

Some light 'Googling' confirmed that this is indeed the glider issued to CCFs during that period.

Although my memory is misty and unreliable I seem to remember 'Tom' Pierce piloting, powered by chaps stretching a 'bungee'. I also recall an apocryphal story about 'Tom' landing on the canteen roof - but that may have been wishful thinking!

If anyone has a tale to tell about the glider I, for one, would like to hear it.

'Pip'

13 comments:

  1. And I, for another, would also like to hear of any tales relating to the glider ... it sounds far more exciting than the old static 'Seafire' (I think it was) that stood at the bottom of the School field in my day ...
    I am not sure I can totally accept the one about 'Tom' landing on the Canteen roof though, as, apart from anything else, from memory, the canteen roof wasn't flat (unlike the Armoury) ...

    Thanks for your posting and pics 'Pip' ...

    Doug from WOZ

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  2. Wasn't the canteen sited in a bit of a cutting below field level? - and didn't it have a fairly shallow pitched roof? If so, it may not have been such an improbable landing site - I'm so wanting the story to be true!!

    'Pip'

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  3. If my memory serves me correctly (and it tends not to sometimes these days, although it's pretty reliable), you are right on both counts ... it would be great if it was true and even better if some mis-guided, bitter and twisted schoolboy got a photo of it !!!

    Doug from WOZ

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  4. They told us that it was a German SG38 which had been brought back from the war. (They used them for training - illegally - pilots between the wars). The Slingsby was a copy of that machine. Anyway,the thing could be "flown" statically on a tripod into the wind or - once one had got the hang of that, catapaulted from the long v shaped bungy, when the nose had to be held down by the pilot to keep the bird down on its skid. It was usually sent towards the canteen from in front of the library because of the prevailing wind and the helpful slope. I heard that a scholar - deliberately or otherwise - didn't hold it down enough, got it airborne and put it into the swimming bath... Probably one of those stories which happened to a friend of a friend! Bill Palmer

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  5. See what you've done now Pip ... opened up the memory banks !! ... Marvellous ...
    I wonder how many other 'tales' about the Slingsby can be related ? ...
    Hopefully there ARE others ...

    Thanks for yours Bill ... do you have anything else about the background/history of the SG38 ?

    Doug from WOZ

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  6. I remember the Glider and also the bungee launches. One side of the bungee had a red ball on a "string" to indicate maximum stretch and the other did not. Those of us on the non red ball side used to move quicker and further than the others which resulted in an interesting launch. Tom Pierce did not miss much but let the odd one go. Keeping the glider on "straight and level" in the static mode was not as easy as it seemed.
    Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

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  7. I remember the glider too, vaguely of course! I never managed to get a 'go' on it though.
    I had quite a few flights in aircraft while in the cadets though. Wellington, Tiger Moth, AOP Auster and Avro Anson. On the Anson flight I was sitting in the co-pilots seat next to the pilot. When he asked me if I wanted to take over I said no, I was too nervous. Big mistake. Carpe diem is the phrase I believe.

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  8. I too clocked up some hours flying time while in the cadets - how lucky were we! I recall how both pilots and ground crews did their best to 'put the wind up' us kids in their various ways.

    A stand-out time for me was on camp at RAF North Weald, home of 111 Squadron Black Arrows Aerobatic Team and their lovely Hawker Hunters - magic!

    'Pip'

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  9. so any idea where the glider went to? Also anyone know where and when the spitfire/seafire disappeared? some time in the 50's? brian

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  10. A friend of mine, who was a year above me, told me that the 'plane was a Spitfire that had crash landed and come to rest at the far end of the field. I had assumed that it must have been removed in 1952/1953 as it wasn't there in September '53 when I arrived - and I was looking forward to seeing it!.

    However, I suppose I may have got the wrong end of the stick in that my friend may not have actually seen the 'plane himself and was just passing on, possibly inaccurate, information that he had heard from older pupils.

    'Pip'

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  11. No Brian, I don't know where these things went either. I am pretty sure it was a Seafire by the way,
    Jim

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  12. Just a follow-up to my last comment -

    I came across a web site listing known aircraft crashes in Hampshire. A Spitfire did crash "at Winchester" in May 1940, but after the pilot had baled out, so it probably ended up in pieces in a hole in the ground. Therefore we can probably discount my school boy friend's 'information' on the matter.

    'Pip'

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  13. The Spitfire / seafire was taken away on a RAF low loader which came to collect it sometime in 1952. They "tore" off the wings and threw it on and away they went. No one seemed to know or care what happened to it.
    Jon

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