Ups and Downs at Beccles

While everyone else is at work, on the beach or hiding from the sultry heat, Bob the banner and I are making an early start, with warm bacon sandwiches, over the Thames Estuary towards Lowestoft for a day’s towing around the air display.

Captain Bob

Very hazy visibility today. So point the aircraft towards Beccles and climb to five thousand feet, avoiding the danger area, the active military firing ranges that extend out to sea, East of Southend.

Beccles when we arrive is relatively quiet, just us, a second banner aircraft and the Utterly Butterly air display aircraft who are positioned there for today’s show at Lowestoft.

In fact, as you can see from the photo, two local primary schools have managed to win a wing walking experience for their headmasters and the children, gathered patiently behind the aircraft, are delighted to see their teachers suspended on a biplane wing.  What more could a child want?

Meanwhile, the attempt at the world land speed record for jet-propelled shopping trolleys is well under way along the Beccles runway. The noise of the engine is indescribable and it takes courage to strap yourself into a wire trolley powered by a calor gas cylinder - otherwise known as a pressurised gas bomb - between your legs. I certainly wouldn’t try it and on this occasion the pilot survived, having failed to achieve orbit but succeeded in a rapid ten second jet-propelled burst along the runway.

The beach at Lowestoft is packed and the air display route is marked out with buoys a few hundred yards out to sea. Captain Bob and I aren’t in the programme but then, unlike the very attractive Utterly Butterly girls, we don’t look good in yellow and blue lycra.  Maybe next time!


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