Are you till sitting confortably? Then I'll begin Part Two
After arriving at Urbe, the idea was to refuel and head along the coast to Genoa. At the time G-TALY was not fitted with a range-extender and she held fuel for 250 miles. It was 230 to Genoa. It was apparently decided to limit the possibility of buttock-clenching moments by jacking TALY up on one side, filling up the tank, closing it and then letting her down again and having enough fuel onboard to make the trip without (to use my fathers normal understated approach to things) crashing and dieing The following picture give a taste of the pioneer spirit of the two fearless aviators as you can clearly see the temporary radio bungeed to a bit of rubber on top of the panel:-
Self evidently it worked and they made it Genoa with plenty of fuel in hand only to be grounded by bad weather for the next 24 hrs. The following picture of TALY seen out of a speeding taxi window was actually taken as they arrived to continue the journey after the weather improved and not, as some unscrupulous commentators have suggested, as they tried to make a run for it after deciding the trip would be safer on the ground!
With the improvement in the weather they set off for the Agusta factory at Casrina Costa near Milan to complete the export formalities before crossing the Alps
It is at this point my father hopes to retaliate for Geoffers' slanderous remarks elsewhere in the record of the journey.
This is my father hard at work at the controls......
And here is a younger, debauched, Geoffers apparently nursing a monster hangover from the night before (I am going to slip the word "allegedly" in at this point as I don't want to be caught in the counter-suit!)
However the reason for my father's desire for revenge becomes clear when you see the cartoon that accompanies the 2 pictures above and which my father denies catagorically ever happened.....probably....
Part Three starts with what my father claims is a distortion of the facts.
After leaving Milan they headed to Lugano in Switzerland. At this point the official photographic record of the journey shows Geoffers hard at work first thing in the morning, clearing the ice from TALY prior to the next leg through the Simplon Pass to Geneva.
While the following picture.....
bears the caption "Ken is seen at breakfast the following morning. I'm not saying he is nursing another hangover but he had one hell of a job focusing on the croissant". Once again, this will be presented as evidence when he gets round to sueing for slander!
The fearless nature of our two pioneers (if you look up "fearless" in the theosaurus it gives "mad as a fish" as an alternative) is made clear by the view out of TALY as they tackled the Alps:-
They are in a white helicopter, with minimal instruments, no heater and they are flying over snow which, as my father points out not unreasonably, is both cold (no heater) and white (the colour of TALY) and in the event of a forced landing would have resulting in them not being found until global warming eventually cleared the Alps!
They were at 7000ft, attempting to squeeze over the top of the pass but as they followed the valley west, they ran into snow.
In fact, when disaster DID strike, and that it was obvious that they were not going to make to to the small airfield of Sion, they decided that discretion was the better part of valour and landed at a disused military airfield. The following picture documents what happened next. Depending on who's account you believe they either "enlisted the help of a friendly passer-by to locate a telephone" or they "hijacked a passing car and made a dash for the nearest pub", you will have to decide for yourselves...
What ever happened, the eventually made it safely to Sion where snow forced them to stay for a while.
But they eventually continued (after consuming their own weight in fondu apparently!) and made it to Geneva where they cleared customs.
They then completed the next leg to Troyes and put TALY to bed for night. Im going to draw a veil over the night at Troyes, suffice it to say that wild allegations have been made by Geoffers, denied by my father and are best left unrepeated until the legal action
From Troyes they set off the following morning to Le Touquet where they completed customs formalities once more and then put TALY's load carrying capacity to the test by investigating French cuisine for lunch
With lunch over they set off up the coast to Cap Gris Nez before my father's least favourite part of the trip, crossing the channel. No great fan of water as he can't swim, he has been known to wear a wet suit, life-jacket and deploy floats just to cross the Mersey so this was going to be a challenge....
But then TALY and our heroes caught sight of land....
and they were almost home.
At Gatwick, TALY touched her skids to English soil for the first time while import formalities were carried out...
I have followed this thread with great interest, as I am sure many others have as well - thank you to all who have made it such a fascinating read.
My (very) tenuous connection to Ken Davies was that my PPL(H) was conducted by one of his old friends at Barton. During XC Navex trips across the Cheshire countryside and onto Hawarden, I'd hear intriguing stories about their past exploits involving a variety of aircraft!
I'm afraid I cannot add any further to the G-TALY story but I do have something else to offer...
Having grown up in Glasgow, I was interested to see photographs from Scotland that demonstrated B206s in a variety of guises. My brother and father were gifted a helicopter trip in the late 1980s from the Clyde Heliport - I am not sure who the operator was, but my father tells me during the trip, the pilot had to do an "Eye in the Sky" report for Radio Clyde, further suggesting it was one of the B206s. I asked him to send me any pictures he had and the result should be shown below...
Clearly this is not a B206! Tracking the reg through G-INFO, it appears that this was an Alton Towers aircraft at the time (1987-1990). Why it was in Glasgow doing traffic reports and pleasure flights, I cannot say, but thought it might provide another interesting thread drift of nostalgia.
Well, the eye in the sky guy was "Captain George" Muir, who is no longer with us. JLBZ looks like it's on a racecourse - Scotland is certainly not its usual place, unless it was on British Tourist Board business, as JLB was a member.
Are you sure it's the right photo? I imagine Rod Wood would have been the pilot.
The photo of GJLBZ looks like it was taken at the Glasgow City Heliport at the SECC. 'Captain George' Muir (RIP) was almost certainly flying the IRON BRU Bell 206 (the registration escapes me now) for the 'eye in the sky' traffic report.
Another coincidental connection to this thread is that shortly after that was taken Geoffersincornwall was the CP of the Strathclyde Police operation at the SECC and he knew George very well as Clyde Helicopters operated both the Police Bo105 and the Bell 206.
The photo of the 222 is indeed taken at Clyde heliport. I was selling quarry products for a living in 1988 and supplied Joe McGachy (Clyde Helicopter's MD) with the concrete that the helicopter it is sitting on ! (I remember selling it for a very good price in return for some free flying) I got to know the Clyde guys very well and flew with them numerous times before Mr Bond bought them over. Their Jetrangers were: G-EYEI G-BOUY/GOBP/OBRU G-BRDL They also had LongRanger G-STVI that was painted in Scottish Television colours (now G-EYRE), a Twin Squirrel G-CHLA and a Bo105 G-SPOL. The 222 must have been visiting, to my knowledge they never operated it. I have a number of photos taken around that time that I will dig them out and scan them. Tarman
I too was puzzled by the photo sent to me. I was fully expecting it to be one of the 206s. I can confirm it is definitely at the Clyde Heliport, as attested to by Tarman.
As this was taken in 1988, my father can't be sure this was the actual helicopter, but he assures me that there were two pilots and six passengers on board for the flight.
It was around the time of the Glasgow Garden Festival which was staged on the river bank opposite the Heliport. The flight was a gift - my brother and I each got to choose what we most wanted (at that time!). Aged 7, I choose to go on the Coca-Cola Roller Coaster...
My brother chose the flight. Not only was I a little disgruntled that he'd had the foresight and imagination to choose a better adventure than me, I never actually made it onto the roller coaster - the day I was due to go I injured my thumb in a car door!
Perhaps missing out on flying at that tender age worked on me subconsciously, as now 22yr later I'm the one flying helicopters!
a good selection of what Clyde had, and photo's of the Late Great Captain George Muir are on my flickr site, www.flickr.com/photos/wiganairways/, and view the Clyde Helicopter set, also a photo of Joe McGachy pulling out LR G-STVI onto the pad, also one time Castle Air pilot Geoff Newman flying JR G-BOUY and John Mulvaney about to lift off in Bo105 G-BFYA, going back to Cardiff after being the Police chopper for the first year, before G-SPOL was delivered, more visitors to the helipad was a 365 G-POAV - I think that is the reg. -, and Army Gazzelle's used to pop in, as well as Bond 365's.
As this is my first post let me start by saying hello. I have been a member here for a while, but have never contributed, feeling it's not really my place to. I am not a pilot, but since a child I have been compelled to gaze skyward whenever I heard the sound of rotors cutting through the air, and this magic has never really left me. However, as this is a post about nostalgia I feel that I can share my memories.
I grew up and still live in Chester in the north west of England and most of the time, as a boy, when I looked up to see who was flying by it was usually what I know now to be G-TALLY, or another star of this thread G-JLBI. It was John Broomes craft that I saw most often as it must have visited somewhere near to our house on a reasonably regular basis, I would suppose at weekends. One of the two girls who lived in the house opposite to ours was at school with John Broomes children and I remember being extremely jealous when she was one of a very select few invited to a birthday party, at where else but Alton Towers, chauffeured of course in G-JLBI.
It was TALY that I remember liking best tho, a real beauty, and I really do remember not seeing her for a long time and wondering to myself if she had been replaced by the squirrel that would occasionally fly past. That squirrel never really did have the same appeal to me. Now I know that must have been TALI.
Thanks for all the great photos in this thread. I just love the original paint jobs and the skids with emergency pop outs on those old 206s and for me they have never looked better.
I will end my trip down memory lane with a couple of photos. Firstly G-JLBI, I know not where or when. Secondly, excuse the state of the old polaroid, a helicopter not yet mentioned in this thread G-BBBM. I remember my Dad coming home from work, bunging my brother and I into the car to drive back to a nearby hotel he had passed on his way home where this was parked up. I'm the taller of the two chaps in the photo, I think my face says it all...
All the best, Simon.
Last edited by Senior Pilot; 13th Aug 2010 at 23:39.
Reason: Add images from flickr
. Simo8: I am glad that you have decided to contribute to the thread. While there are several 'non pilot' forums on PPRuNe you are most welcome here too! Yes, helicopters are marvellous contraptions and also quite addictive.
I flew JLBI with my godfather many times and I think young William (John Broome's son) used to have his birthday party every year at Alton because I recall us running a shuttle service from the 'Broomested' in Tilston to the Towers with Will's friends and I think we did this more than once. Although I never went there, my godfather regularly dropped off young Will's at school in JLBI.
JLBI's paint scheme was always a bit commercial with the Alton and 'Trentham Gardens' (another one of the Broome estates) logos featuring prominently. This could not be compared to the more elegant colours of the Duke's aircraft in its white and navy blue with gold accents.
The 206's with the first generation emergency 'pop-out' floats did have a solid and rather pleasing look about them and both TALY and JLBI wore these in the beginning. Certainly flying with the pop-outs gave a kind of lateral stability but, the speed (although mainly weight) penalty often meant that putting on 'shorts' (short skids) was the preference for private operations and indeed this is what happened to both TALY and JLBI. In fact, one of the first things my godfather did when he joined Broome, was to change JLBI from pop-out to shorts - not least of all because he added a Decca DANAC and Schermuly flare system to what was an already heavy aircraft.
Regarding BBBM, I would be keen for any more details of this photo, perhaps the name of the hotel and the date, as BBBM was one of the aircraft managed by Ferranti Helicopters and I am collecting images of all the aircraft associated with their operations.
Thanks again for your contribution.
WiganAirways: BFYA was a former Ferranti Helicopters aircraft so has a connection to me through that avenue and POAV, if I'm not mistaken, is an aircraft with which regular thread contributor Earl was connected.
MrChopper: Thanks for the details on JANY, what a wonderful piece of information this is! Jane (Mead) was of course Peter's last (and 3rd) wife who once said of him: "There are always difficulties living with an old sod like Peter" but, she is the one who remained with him till the end and after whom the AS350B (below) is named.
I am still keenly searching for images of G-CHOC which, just like TALY, was a pretty thing with an interesting owner. I know of one occasion my godfather recounted when PTC (Peter the Cad) was ground running CHOC, became cold and turned on the heater (old style with starboard mounted exhaust) while the engineer was leaning into the engine bay. The story goes that he and PTC had a 'heated' exchange over the engineer's burnt duffle coat!
Peter Cadbury's AS350B Ecureuil G-JANY at Cranfield on 5th September 1981 (Photo: Alan Mosiezny)
Peter Cadbury's Squirrel with golden Pegasus motif just visible on the door. On G-CHOC this motif was located near the baggage compartment as previously mentioned by Earl. TALY also had a golden motif, a wheatsheaf, taken from the centre part of the Duke's coat of arms and mounted on TALY's tail.
HelisDW: Thanks for the photo of JLBZ which forms part of Earl's 'Midland's Three' comprising of the former transports of the Duke, John Broome (Alton Towers) and James Bamford (JCB Excavators). All three were located fairly near to each other, all started out as 206's and were up-graded to twins.
RedFlag: What can I say? I really didn't expect to see evidence of TALY's 'birth and delivery' as it were and I had no idea that the journey we would take in seeking to discover more about this aircraft would result in so many interesting twists and turns. I am indeed thrilled that there is a pictorial (and illustrated) record of TALY's earliest days. The past is always fascinating and, more often than not, helps put the present in perspective.
Thanks for making this effort and thanks to your Dad also.
Last edited by Savoia; 13th Sep 2013 at 09:51.
Reason: Amend photo
Thanks for posting those photos which were a trip down memory lane. I must correct you one one small point however. It wasn't John Mulvaney who returned G-BFYA to Veritair at Cardiff - it was me. John (where are you?) must have been doing a ground run or something when you took the photo.
Funny story actually - Joe McGaghy (bless him), the owner of Clyde Helicopters - sent a few friends around to the hangar at SECC to repaint G-BYFA in the Vertair colour scheme at the end of the Police contract lease (must have been around June 1990). They were not professional aircraft spray painters and did a less than satisfactory job. In fact it looked shocking close up and the Welsh Dragon on the tail looked more like Father Christmas.
I was told to fly it down to Cardiff one Sunday and was not looking forward to the reception I expected when Vertair saw what we had done to their Bo105. Myself and Sgt Eddie Haggarty flew it down to Cardiff via a very scenic route through the Lake District - having a close inspection of a few summits (we were both keen hillwalkers), refuel and lunch at Blackpool and eventually landing at Cardiff heliport in the afternoon.
I was very happy and somewhat relieved to discover that the Veritair office was all shut up and there was no one to witness the sorry looking state of their prodigal helicopter. We ended up leaving it parked at the heliport, put the keys through the letter box, climbed over the fence to get out, caught a taxi to the station and a train back to Glasgow.
Never did find out what Mr Verity thought of the paint job!
P.S What was that wonderful (expensive) restaurant called next to Clyde Heliport in your photos? I had my 32nd birthday dinner there - the first time I ever spent over £100 on a dinner for two - a Kings Ransom in those days. Wonderful summer that...
Thanks for the correction, maybe John was taking YA up for a test, or maybe trying to dry the paint, I saw a photo of YA on another web site and was in this livery, but no floats, so I take it the paint stayed on. I made a model of a Sea King in RAF search and rescue colours for Joes son, even down to the single yellow rotor blade, also a JR for George with the reg. G-MUIR, crimson with silver stripes, remember George was also a disc jockey on Clyde 2, with his progamme 'Come fly with me', memories. Wonder where Jim Bruce the engineer is, did he go to Bond at the takeover, or onto pastures new?
The restaurant was named The Pump House, havn't been at the heliport in years, not the free and easy days of Clyde.
In reply to Earl's post, I can confirm that the sequence of aircraft (FW & RW) operated by the DoW during the late 70's early 80's were (I will add the regs later when I have had a chance to check them):- 1. Piper Cherokee 2. Piper Apache 3. Piper Twin Commanche (not an Aztec as I previously thought, that one was hired) These three were all operated by the present DoW's father but used by the current DoW when he was Earl Grosvenor. The Apache was the one that my father made the forced landing in after a twin engine failure in Northern Ireland. As a former RAF glider instructor he made a pretty miraculous landing and everyone walked away unhurt (except my father who cut his nose on the control column!) The newspapers of the time had a great picture of the Apache standing on it's nose in a field after the nose leg sank into the boggy ground ! 4. Enstrom Shark Bought by the current DoW when he was still the Earl. Used as the "proof of concept" that RW was the way forward! and then we get to the "known history" with:- 5. Jet Ranger G-TALY 6. Twin Squirrel G-TALI then there was a return to FW with:- 7. HS 125 8 & 9. Cessna Citations My father has promised to dig out some pictures of TALI and I'll ask him to root out some of the Enstrom too while he's at it!