London Motorcycle Museum, Greenford

The oldest bike, a 2007 Brown Precision 2007, 300 cc

This museum has an eclectic mix of over 200 old and relatively new motorcycles which is a credit to all the volunteers that have worked there. Many are privately owned. It is located in the buildings of what was once Ravenor Farm, close to central London. Bikes are housed in no less than three old buildings with one devoted to a huge collection of Triumph machines. Continue reading


Liverpool Visit

The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (arrowed) from the top of the Liverpool Cathedral tower (inset)

The view from the top Liverpool Cathedral’s tower was magnificent, the city spread before us with its iconic buildings, parks and the River Mersey. Our Wings and Wheels group took an all-encompassing approach to transport during our visit to the city – and added a few other things as well! Thus we had taken lifts and 109 stairs, past the belfry to the roof of the massive red brick cathedral, a contrast to the nearby modern, circular Metropolitan Cathedral that we had also seen, and which was full of colours from glorious stained glass.

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Farnborough Air Sciences Trust

Relaxing in the boardroom of the trust with a light lunch.

In September we visited the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST), in a historic building on the periphery of Farnborough Airfield, a site now dominated by the comings and goings of business aircraft (‘bizjets’). The building, in contrast to the more modern facilities around it, first housed the Balloon Section of the Royal Engineers. Continue reading

Shuttleworth near Biggleswade

12 of our members visited Shuttleworth, which must be an unsurpassed UK collection of vintage aircraft, many of which are preserved in flying condition – no mean feat. Somehow, they seemed to have the pilots to fly them as well from the adjacent Old Warden grass airstrip too, but we didn’t see that.

The sole Spitfire in the collection. The Supermarine Mark VC, Westland built, and undergoing restoration. It escorted USAAF bombers in 1942-43.

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Nene Valley Railway

34081 The Ferryman, Battle of Britain Class arrives from Peterborough – our transport for the day.

Few of us managed to get to the Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough, but those who did had an excellent (very warm) day.  The restored line runs along the attractive Nene Valley between Yarwell and Peterborough and forms part of of the original London and Birmingham Railway line which which was completed  in 1847 from the Northampton area to Peterborough.  Like so many east-west lines (eg Hatfield and St Albans), this one closed in 1972. Continue reading

Greenwich visit

Greenwich Maritime Museum (left), Queen’s House (centre) and Canary Wharf area in the background

In keeping with the maritime flavour of the day, we traveled from Bankside Pier near Tate Modern to Greenwich by a very comfortable riverboat to visit the maritime installations at Greenwich. Continue reading