Author Topic: My Vulcan chasing travels 2008 -2015  (Read 1215 times)

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Offline sickbag_andy

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My Vulcan chasing travels 2008 -2015
« on: March 02, 2018, 03:09:04 PM »
It's too cold to go out this week so I've been going through old photos and realised how many different places I visited watching and supporting XH558. I've put them together in chronological order with a bit of a story to go with them.....

I'd been a club member since 2003 and the first time I saw a post restoration flight was 9th June 2008 (I think it was the 5th flight) I'd written a cryptic quiz for the Trust to use (never did) and took that and a £50 prize to Bruntingthorpe on the day of the flight - what good timing ;), anyway it was out on to the airfield where I met amongst others Jane and Malcolm for the first time.

so here was my first sight of the lady that was going to dominate my aviation enthusiasm for the next 8 years, taxiing out for thatflight (in those days I only had a digital compact so excuse the quality)
XH558 brunty 9-6-08, 03 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

I didn't take any during the flight - just watched in awe but here's one of the landing:
XH558 brunty 9-6-08, 09 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then it was Farnborough the same year, one of the take off, everything stopped and it all went quiet as she taxied out, just showed the pull of the aircraft:
vulcanXH558 take off, Farnborough 19-07-2008 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and being pushed back afterwards
vulcan XH558, Farnborough 19-07-2008 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

I only saw her once more in 2008 and that was at duxford and without my camera, then in 2009 funds were dire (not the first or last time) and the Vulcan Scramble was thought up, I was sent to coventry (well volunteered, not as far as the team drove but a 250ish mile round trip for me, some of the supporters that turned up along with the helpers and drivers:
vulcan scramble 22-02-2009 the coventry contingent by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then I manned a club stand at Marshalls, Cambridge and the only flight I saw that year. On to 2010 and I had my first DSLR, now I was in business! This was a missed approach at Marham families day where she stayed overnight and appeared at Lowestoft the next day where I saw hr again
Vulcan XH558 marham 12-8-2010 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

In 2011 my first display was at Southend on 28th May:
Vulcan XH558 appearing over the pier Southend 28-05-2011 9671 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

next day saw 558's last ever appearance at Bruntingthorpe and I did a ground tour if only to see the first of many 'plaque' appeals' on this occasion complete with my name on it, in the bomb bay (in those days you could support one of these appeals and actually get to see your name rather than it being hidden away in a damp field)
Vulcan XH558 bomb bay plaque,  winter service 2011 Bruntingthorpe 29-5-2011 9703 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and then she departed Bruntingthorpe for was was ultimately the last time....
Bruntingthorpe 29-5-2011 XH558 nosewheel up_9871 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

Bruntingthorpe 29-05-2011 XH558 lift off_9873 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

In 2010 I had run a photo competition to raise funds for 558, by mid 2011 the winner's prize still hadn't been arranged so I dipped into my own pocket to save the day and my embarrassment to purchase a canvas for the winner, little did I realise that it would also be the start of a still ongoing friendship with the winner, Andrew Brown! I thought I would try to get it signed by the crews so I thought who can I ask - step forward Sam Evans! Sam said 'don't send it to me, bring it and Andy up to Doncaster and spend a day with us - you both deserve it!' I hummed and harred for 2 seconds and it was on!
so here we are Sam with Andy (and his wife Tara) in front of 558, you could say the theatre of dreams (sorry Dee)
sam,tara&andy  Doncaster 30-07-2011 2276 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr
What I hadn't told Andy was that Sam was going to take him on board - that took him totally by surprise and for once he put his camera down!
some of mine from the day...
Vulcan XH558 front view from stairs Doncaster 30-11-2011 2286 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then he received his canvas from the crew for the day...
Vulcan XH558 photo comp winner canvas presentation Doncaster 30-07-2011 2781 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

the 2011 vulcan team
the Vulcan team line up  Doncaster 30-07-2011 2427 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

Sam with his wires crossed (sorry Sam, couldnt resist it)
sam Doncaster 30-07-2011 2459 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and safely home
XH558 safely home Doncaster 30-07-2011 2743 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then later that year it was back to Doncaster for the club day under 558, remeber those days when the club was always welcome there?
When the club was welcome, VTST club day Doncaster 29-10-2011 7252 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

2012 and another seaside show, this time the long drive to Eastbourne, up on the Beachy Head cliffs on 11th August (first show with another new camera)
round the lighthouse
0711 vulcan over lighthouse by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

my favourite of all my Vulcan photos, looking down at her from the cliffs
0721 plan view vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

spectators all armed with cameras...
0725 bloody photographers by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and banking away in front of us
0828 vulcan underside slighly inverted by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

still at the seaside, clacton 23rd August
Vulcan XH558 clacton 23-08-2012, wind power and raw power 1772 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then Duxford on 8th September
Vulcanxh558 over airspace hangar, Duxford 08-09-2012 4382 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

Vulcan xh558 Duxford 08-09-2012 4327 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

that's episode 1, the second half to follow shortly
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 04:34:51 PM by sickbag_andy »
confacimus volatemum

the proud owner of the only Martin Withers signed sickbag of 558 flight vintage IN THE WORLD!

Offline sickbag_andy

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Re: My Vulcan chasing travels 2008 -2015
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 04:35:39 PM »
2013 left me somewhat distracted by the deaths of both of my parents so displays went on the back burner for some of hte time, my first meet up with 558 that year was at Manston in June the last time I saw a take off, a pic of it for the memories...
Vulcan XH558 take off Manston 22-06-2013 2360 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then the final pass..
Vulcan XH558 departure Manston 22-06-2013 2507 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then 23rd August it was another Clacton air show, bet that woke up the nursing home residents!...
Vulcan xh558 clacton 23-08-2013  6844 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and 2 days later the annual Lt Gransden show
vulcan xh558 Lt Gransden 25-08-2013 8481 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

vulcan xh558 Lt Gransden 25-08-2013  8486 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and that was it for 2013. 2014 went by all too quickly and it was august before I re-newed my acquaintance with 558, again at clacton (what a show 1 Vulcan and 2 Lancasters- too good to miss)
vulcan xh558 clacton 25-08-2014 1929 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

vulcan xh558 over the barges clacton 25-08-2014 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and a power climb!
vulcan xh558 climb out clacton 25-08-2014 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then the spectacle of the Vulcan and 2 Lancasters 3 days later sold out Lt Gransden, I had the foresight to order tickets way in advance but there were many moaning because they hadn't done the same, 558 had the poorer weather but was still spectacular..
4520 vulcan lt gransden by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

no I haven't tilted the camera
4603 vulcan lt gransden by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

I really thought it was going right over in a roll but not quite (they saved that for Grantham!), I put together this sequence of the half roll  for posterity
Kev Rumens' party piece lt gransden 24-8-14 1200px by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and the last encounter of 2014 at Duxford, 13th September, this time accompanied by a pair of Gnats for part of the display
5883 vulcan & gnats by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

5870 vulcan & gnats by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

5904 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then the final year had arrived, we knew it would be so no last minute knife edge appeals to keep her going for another year, first view of 2015 was during the spring final tour at Southend on a murky wet day so I didn't take any photos, it was only a fly by anyway.
June was brighter and I decided to have a 2 day tour of the M40 corridor  with an overnight stay at Bidford upon Avon and then the Throckmorton show on the Saturday (6th), traffic was horrendous but I made it in time (many didn't) and it was n enjoyable show in lovely weather.
2722 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

in July she made her first of 2 appearances at Old Warden, a superb display and it tempted them to book her again for October for what was to be her final public show, 2 from the july show
7294 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

7309 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

15th August and it was either Headcorn or Eastbourne, I opted for the former as the runway position looked good as did the backdrop
1306 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

1317 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and then 2 weeks later, she was at Clacton once again
2640 Vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

last chance to see my name on a plaque?
2631 Vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

558 was due at Lt Gransden on the sunday but unseasonable weather all but wiped out the display including 558 - I thought then I may have seen her flying for the last time :'(

BUT no! Shuttleworth announced that she was booked for the season finale on 4th October. I was in Turkey for my step daughter's wedding when it was announced but throwing my usual caution to the wind I trusted foreign internet and booked tickets for myself and family including my grandson who had been so disappointed at Lt Gransden. It sold out within days but I was in with the family (my membership would have secured one for me but not them!). I had booked tickets for a flypast at Gaydon the same day but passed them onto another club member who made a donation to the cause.
Three from Old Warden..
 7962 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and they say every picture tells a story..... I had the airband scanner on and heard 558 call up while she was still out of view but 'circling to the west' told me where to look, my grandson was all excited at hearing the pilot and I showed him where to look for 558, he saw it and shouted, excited to the core - everyone nearby looked round ans it spread like wildfire, so that nobody was watching the display of the aircraft actually displaying (circled) - poor pilot.
0634 vulcan effect circled by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and then as she rolled away for the last time in public and with tears in my eyes I uttered those words to my wife that I have never forgotten ' now tell me she's just a f***ing aeroplane!'
8103 vulcan - the last photo by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

a day or two later a final final final tour was announced, in hindsight Grantham was the place to be (if you had powerful binoculars) but I ventured to North Weald on sunday 11th October where they only had 2 or 3 days to arrange parking , marshalling and crowd control. They did well - crowded but not chaotic.

The police were out in force - monitoring it from the air!!!! well planned i thought!
here she was passing through onto the next waypoint somewhere east of London
9021 Vulcan XH558 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

By then I and a few others had got whisper of the penultimate flight to Sywell on the 13th for a display to the raffle winners who would then fly alongside with the blades and one very lucky person in a Spitfire. After the display she did a flypast with the spitfire and blades before spending an hour or two doing circuits over Pitsford reservoir as the second and third batches of blades flights took off before she really did disappear for the last time (for me at least).

best view in the house (or on it)
9196 best view on the airfield - vulcan stops work by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and this really was the last time I was able to see my name on the bomb door plaque!
9272 Vulcan XH558 Sywell 13-10-2015 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

wheels going up and that final power climb about to start...
9248 Vulcan XH558 Sywell 13-10-2015 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and the flypast with the spitfire and blades
9590 vulcan & blades, Sywell 13-10-2015 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and finally off she went into the distance, farewell and thank you
9854 - goodbye and thank you, Sywell 13-10-2015 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

a coupe of weeks later she took to the air one last time but sadly I wasn't there to see it. After the flying at Sywell we did spend time in the bar with a number of club members and also Guy Martin who was keen to know all about the club, a nice catch up for all concerned.

so there we are , a bit of a long story but some wonderful memories and some wonderful friends as a result of the journey.

thanks for looking and thanks to all the new friends I made during this epic adventure.
confacimus volatemum

the proud owner of the only Martin Withers signed sickbag of 558 flight vintage IN THE WORLD!

Offline dee

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Re: My Vulcan chasing travels 2008 -2015
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2018, 08:06:05 AM »
 ;DAbsolutely Stunning pics as always Andy..Due to this wonderful Aircraft i made some fantastic friends and Memories that no-one can take from me!!!
That huge triangle against the sky like some monstrous angel trailing dark clouds of glory

Offline CLIFFORD

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Re: My Vulcan chasing travels 2008 -2015
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2018, 11:08:13 AM »
what wonderful photos thank you both,  the GOOD old days.

Offline jakspeed

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Re: My Vulcan chasing travels 2008 -2015
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2018, 08:51:40 AM »
Bloody awesome photos!!!! Thanks for posting Andy! ;)

Makes me realise just how much I miss 558, all the friends I made and all the fun days down Doggers Lane plus clocking up the miles in my old red Merc.
And, of course, those wonderful days in the hanger when Dee and I became Scrubbers!

If only it all had a happy ending................................