Skip to main content

Merlins over Thanet

Marooned, temporarily at Manston this afternoon are the Merlins over Malta team on the way to the Mediterranean for a display to mark the historic Second World War defence of the island.


Charlie Brown

Unfortunately, the weather over Thanet is appalling this afternoon and the Spitfire and Hurricane can’t get airborne again until it clears, so the celebrity Battle of Britain aircraft pilots, Charlie Brown, Clive Denny and their team-mates are contemplating an evening among the fleshpots of Margate.


Clive Denny (Hurricane) & Charlie Brown (Spitfire) Pilots

I’m rather hoping the weather it will clear through though as they have to get to Jersey before dusk if possible and I have to take some photos of the Spitfire and Hurricane for Pilot Magazine and I’ve always wanted a chance to get in either aircraft!

An Interview with Charlie Brown

They just got off, squadron scramble or what? They were ready and gone in ten minutes towards the nearest patch of blue sky!

An interview with the legendary Spitfire display pilot, Charlie Brown, caught at Manston on the way to "Merlins over Malta"

Flt. Lt. Charlie Brown serves at RAF Cranwell as an instructor. As chief pilot of the Historic Aircraft Collection Charlie flies and displays both the Spitfire and the Hurricane that will be going to Malta. Charlie spent many years flying Messerschmitt 109 Black 6.


MP3 File

Between June 1940 and December 1942 Malta became one of the most bombed places on Earth. The battle for this tiny island proved to be one of the most decisive turning points of World War II.Situated just sixty miles south of Sicily, Malta was a vitally important outpost in the heart of the Mediterranean, and with its airfields and deep harbours, held the key to Allied hopes in the Middle East and North Africa: not only was it a crucial staging post, it was also a base from which Allied aircraft, ships, and submarines could cripple Axis supply routes to Rommel’s forces in Africa. Had Malta fallen, the Allies would almost certainly have lost the Suez Canal and the Middle East oilfields to the Axis powers, and with catastrophic consequences.

Recognising its strategic importance, the Axis forces were determined to wipe Malta from the face of the earth – and they very nearly did so. At the start of the siege Malta was woefully ill-equipped, but with the arrival of Hawker Hurricanes in June 1940, the RAF began to fight back. With the arrival of the Luftwaffe in Sicily, these saviours of the Battle of Britain soon proved obsolescent and despite inhuman heroics from the defenders, Malta faced almost certain defeat.

Relief came in the form of the Spitfire Mk V – the first seven flying into Malta from the carrier HMS Eagle on the 7th March 1942. At last the Island had an aircraft capable of taking on the best of the Luftwaffe. More Spitfires followed and by May 1942, the air battle was almost won.

The Merlins Over Malta Appeal aims to take a Spitfire and Hurricane back to the scene of their epic defence, the islands of Malta GC. On the afternoon of the 22nd of September 2005, if the funds are raised a Spitfire and Hurricane will once again fly through Malta’s Grand Harbour. This will be the first time a Hurricane has returned to the island since the war and the first time for a Spitfire since the filming of "The Malta Story" in the early 1950s.

You can buy Corgi Scale models of both aircraft as part of a special collection, here.

Comments

Bloggers United said…
I happened upon your blog site by chance...and I'm glad I found it!
You've got some great stuff here. Way to go!

AWSOME Landscape Garden
website. If you, or someone you know, has an interest in Landscape Garden,
please come and check it out. Enjoy!

Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…