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Wellesbourne Airfield “So good they did it twice”

Mensa at Wellesbourne

Ron Parker (pictured second in from left) reports from the recent Mensa at Wellesbourne day out...

The Mensa@Wellesbourne event was truly amazing, not only did we have to hold it over 2 consecutive weekends but those weekends were both glorious weather, although Mensa cannot claim accolade for that.

On May 19th and May 26th 2013 two groups of Mensans congregated at the little airfield at Wellesbourne Mountford near Stratford upon Avon. The Airfield was home to a Wellington Bomber Training unit during WW2 and now has a small museum run by some amazingly knowledgeable enthusiasts who volunteer to keep the memory alive. Apart from visiting the static display of aircraft including; Russian Yak, Meteor and the huge Vulcan Bomber, the museum had lots of artefacts for our members to examine. These included sad reports of the first airman to lose his life at the field – on his 21st Birthday - and the last, who was unfortunate enough to walk into a rotating propeller.

There is a cockpit of a Spitfire with a working headup gunsight, a number of other touchable items including a rotary engine. Unfortunately the museum had suffered from a bad flood in the preceding weeks and had only just dried out, so although we all were able to go down into the underground bunker, as a special dispensation, there was little to see since all had been brought up top for safety. The bunker was used at times of air-raid to act as a control ‘tower’. We could have spent much longer at the museum and indeed were given the freedom to return any time during the day to revisit, however time slots had been allocated to visit the men in the tower for an insightful explanation of how the tower works from the men who do it, and the chance to get the best view of the airfield. Special thanks go to them for the time they gave to show us around, after all it was a working day for them and being such wonderful weather many planes were airborne.

A visit to the airfield cafe was made by many who waited patiently for the platefuls of food they produce. It served as an ideal waiting room for visits to the tower and chat about the day.

Not everyone arrived by road! Marcus Woof flew in from his home airfield which gave us all an opportunity to wave one of our own from the field. After a 50+ minute flight in a Cessna 152 Annie Cash decided that her dad should buy her a plane for her birthday and forget the car!

The patio at Take Flight Aviation Club house was an ideal spot to sit and rest watching the small planes and helicopters buzzing around while enjoying the liberal amounts of free tea and coffee supplied, I supplied biscuits but being a Mensan I bought chocolate ones which soon melted in the heat of the day. Feedback from those who attended proved the days were a total success, maybe it should be repeated.

 

 

Article originally appeared in Spaghetti's August 2013 edition. Recent editions of Spaghetti can be read in the Regional Newsletters section.