Thursday, 20 August 2015

Having some Trouble taking off, Wing Commander?

tangmere military aviation museum chichesterSpare time is wasted time, and you never get it back. So, in honour, we drove back past Chichester to the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum.
It's quite small and was started by aircraft enthusiasts, not the government so it doesn't have the funding to buy in all the top planes but they've done very well with donations and the exhibits in their glass cases go on for miles.
Straight away I loved the Harrier parked outside because I am a fan of the Harrier and want one after seeing one in True Lies. There are several more planes outside and a little armoured reconnaissance vehicle but the wartime air raid shelter and pop-up fort are closed for refurbishment.
We paid our entry fee and got our stickers and a pictorial guide and I went round naming all the craft and trying out the flight simulators. When bogeys were coming in from the south I couldn't find them and got shot down but I did manage to blow holes in a lot of clouds and that naughty ocean.
tangmere military aviation museum chichesterI liked the SOE exhibits with their knives and guns and maps hidden in metal suppositories and you'll never guess where the agents had to hide them. There's a decent selection of medals and almost all the aircrew had big moustaches, even the ladies, and I liked the lady pilot who delivered Spitfires all over England.
You can have a good old nose in lots of the planes and they have a working 30mm cannon that goes ka-chunk ka-chunk when you turn it on and there was a whole cabinet of 30mm Aden rounds and spare parts and radios and 500lb German bombs and incendiaries and there were guys welding the back of the Supermarine Swift.
tangmere military aviation museum chichesterThe Dambusters were well represented and you can pretend to land a plane in a French field to re-supply the resistance and we saluted the Spitfire and did some bomb-aiming and watched the video of the airspeed record attempt and in the shop I got an Avro Lancaster and a copper pencil sharpener in the shape of a jet fighter.
tangmere military aviation museum chichesterThe whole thing is in aircraft hangars in the corner of the old Tangmere wartime airfield and on Google Earth you can still see the runways and taxiways but it's mostly industrial estates now.
But because we'd started early, we finished early and pottered off to Emsworth where I got a spy book like the one Erin got me and went in the shop called Mungo's Emporium and also got 2 more bags of funny foreign coins and we had lunch in the Coal Exchange which was very nice and I ate all my scampi chips and peas and did not leave a crumb.
And hey presto we still had spare time (2 hours left on the parking ticket - but at least we were safe) but it was raining. I mean, why do we bother, it's supposed to be the last 3 days of the summer holiday and it's rained on both of them so far. We stopped off and bought school shoes and got wet. So far 43 of the coins are new to my collection, and we haven't even finished the first bag.

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