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The weather forecast for Shropshire was lousy today. It claimed we’d be awash with rain, so we’d planned accordingly and arranged a couple of indoor visits. After a leisurely start to the day that involved lots of coffee and a healthy breakfast of porridge, blueberry compote and toasted coconut flakes we drove off to our first assignment – a visit to the Royal Airforce Museum at Cosford. For anyone interested in aircraft it’s an amazing place packed full of aircraft right through from World War 1 Sopwith Pups right to prototype Eurofighters – with lots more in between. The aircraft and other exhibits are spread over several halls, most of which are old aircraft hangers but the building dedicated to telling the story of the ‘cold war’ is a custom-built structure and a great exhibition space. Due to Covid rules we were encouraged to pre-book and register for add-ons like the 4D ‘Red Arrows’ experience, where you feel like you’re in the cockpit of one of the planes flying in their famous displays. The museum was quiet when we visited so we had the 4D experience (which costs £5 apiece) to ourselves. The pair of us found the museum so interesting we ended up spending several hours there, from 11:00 until after 14:30. Admittedly, we did take a coffee break in the cafe in-between halls!

An English Electric ‘Lightning’ interceptor aircraft on display in the ‘Cold War’ building. The Mach 2 Lightning was in service with the RAF from 1960 until 1988. It was designed to protect the RAF’s nuclear deterrent ‘V-Bomber’ airfields from Russian bomber aircraft. It’s displayed like this in homage to its incredible rate of climb capability which led to the nickname pilots gave it – the ‘Frightening’.
This is the British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 strike and reconnaissance aircraft, one of only two ever built before the programme was cancelled back in 1965. The decision was controversial with some people maintaining this was the best aircraft we never built.
Here’s the Sikorsky S-65/HH-53C ‘Super Jolly Green Giant’ helicopter which was converted for special operations – hence the rotary cannon sticking out of the side behind the cockpit!

On leaving we drove back to our next appointment which was in Shrewsbury where we’d booked to see the new James Bond film “No time to Die”. At 2 hours 40 it’s hardly a short film but to be honest, the time flew by! It’s a blockbuster of a film with a real twist that I won’t reveal but fans of the franchise won’t be disappointed by the action scenes, chases, locations or gadgets. Daniel Craig’s as excellent as ever. Personally, I’d have to say he’s been my favourite Bond since Sean Connery started the ball rolling.

Now we’re relaxing at ‘home’ with a drink after scoffing a home-made veggie noodle stir-fry. Tomorrow the weathers meant to change once more so we’ll be back outdoors. The plan is to spend much of the day walking on the Long Mynd at Church Stretton, which is a wonderful bit of countryside. Watch this space…

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