Category Archives: History

The Pyramids – Ancient Star Maps?

 

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Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on image

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Remembering – Duxford IWM

Duxford Imperial War Museum is one of those places that one cannot help but find interesting. It’s able to capture the imagination of people of all ages. I’ve been gathering together and selecting pictures for this post for a long time.

It’s huge (and it is damn huge) main hangar houses some of the most iconic aircraft that’s come from these shores and many others. Including the original Concorde prototype, you’re able to get on and see just how cramped the Concorde was and get that feel for what supersonic flight was actually like.

The Harrier – the first aircraft (and perhaps still the only) to be able to take off and land vertically on a singe engine.

The huge wings of the Vulcan with it’s huge open bomb bay that is likely to have held God only knows what kind of nuclear weapon.

Through to the Mosquito – built from Balsa Wood and powered with twin Merlin engines. As a fighter bomber it was unmatched as nothing at the time could catch it!

 


 

Then there’s the American Museum where all kinds of aircraft old and new can be found in a building cut into the hill.

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They’ve wedged in a strato cruiser (literally wedged, everything else is fitted in around it).

The amazing Blackbird can be seen, it’s engine on full display. Until I came here I never thought I would see this plane!

With a sprinkling of Phantoms and WWII fighters and bombers hung from the roof there’s so much to see. This place isn’t as clean as it seems, there’s still the smell of aviation fuel and these planes still leak oil! The smell makes this other dimension that you never normally get.


 

In an inconspicuous corner of Duxford, there’s the restoration hanger. I’m sure this is the hanger that was blown to smithereen’s in the Battle of Britain movie as it happens! In here are a collection of old favourites. The Memphis Belle is here, Spitfires and all kinds of aircraft I don’t recognise!


 

Duxford is a place where they preserve aircraft. Many of these machines saw battle at dark times in human history. These machines are preserved so the stories behind them and the acts of bravery of many people can be remembered. Because maybe, hope against hope we can learn the mistakes of our history.

Never forget!

Simon 🙂

Origins of Some Everyday Things

This of you that have been following a while may remember this post. That’s because you will – in order to refresh some of my past work and make it fresh I’m reposting it and maybe a dding a bit or two. Starting here :

I’m surprised about how much of our modern life and what we say is based in on life many years old. Some of it over 100 years old. It’s logical that this is the case – but how much do you realise comes from long forgotten traditions or crafts? Here’s a few examples:

Long Summer Holidays:

Harvest-Festival

Enjoying the long summer holiday kids? This long summer break was originally meant so the kids could help bring in the harvest. So come on… get out there and work!

Bodger:

bodger

Fed up with being labelled a bodger? The origin of this word denoted a skilled craftsman that made wooden legs and spars, it nothing to do with being sloppy.

Upper / Lower Case:

UpperLowerCases

In this modern world of computing we can easily make letters in CAPITALS or not. In Victorian times when printing was carried out there would be two cases of letters used at the printers. The capitals would be in the upper case and the small letters would be in the lower case. Now where have I heard that term before?

The Whole Nine Yards:

9 yard ammuniation

The whole nine yards refers to the Spitfire pilots firing off all their ammunition at once. There was 9 yards of this ammunition and it would last for only 14 seconds. I’ve also heard this saying has come from the American bomber gunners and other similar sources. But you get the point.

I’m hoping a few people will read this and have some suggestions or other things they’re heard of which could form another post on this (if you can tolerate it) I think it’s interesting where many of our terms come from and they’re not as modern as we would like to think.

Simon 🙂