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!
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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Actually, here were four TSR.2s completed; two flew, one was completed but never flew and a fourth (the one at Duxford) was never finished until it was ‘restored’ to ‘completed’ condition in the Noughties. Of the other two, one was scrapped where it stood, and the other went to Orfordness ranges, where it was a training target for many years.
Whole libraries have been written about the TSR.2 story. When the programme was cancelled, Harold Wilson ordered that the whole project should be buried and wiped off the face of the earth. But one of the surviving airframes survived because the base commander who had care of it ordered it pushed to the back of a remote hangar and then walled it in with packing crates and containers, so that when the MoD sent through the scrapping order, he could say “TSR.2? No, that’s gone… got the paperwork somewhere… but it’s not here, come and see if you like…”