I am a retired Biomedical Scientist (40+ years in the NHS clinical laboratory service) with a life long passion for aviation. This passion was started when my father took me to the 1953 SBAC show at Farnborough.
I was hooked by the sights, sounds and smells of the day, and I remember us attending just about every year's show up until about 1963, which was when I took up playing bass guitar in a Shadows type group. This continued until 1976, causing my aviation interests to take a bit of a back seat. What fun those days were! I remember my first modelling forays with Airfix 2/- bagged kits from Woolworth's. The Spitfire and Whirlwind helicopter were early models that I can recall building. I can still recall the excitement of going in to Woolies and seeing a new kit hung on the rack.
Frog models were also attractive, in sturdy boxes with very evocative box art. Such models as the English Electric P1A (predecessor of the Lightning) and the N113 (prototype Supermarine Scimitar) were to die for, but were relatively expensive (5/11 if my memory serves me). Imported American kits (Linbergh and Aurora I can remember) were completely out of the range of my pocket. I also built Veron and Keil Kraft balsa and tissue flying models, but these were generally less than successful, but good fun to build nonetheless.
Relatively late in life I achieved an ambition of getting a PPL, and I now have a 1/12th share in a Piper Cherokee based at White Waltham. I have nearly 1000 hours with instrument and instructor ratings, and fly as often as time, weather and funds permit. One way or another, aviation has been a fairly dominant feature in my life! However, I also have a great liking for steam locomotives. Having been born and bred in Devon, I have a particular liking for those of the GWR.
I never lost my interest in modelling, and although the basics are the same as they were 50 or so years ago, the range and detail of after market items available is bewildering. I am looking forward to spending time "torturing plastic" again after all these years.
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