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Old 9th May 2019, 20:00
  #113 (permalink)  
Grant Burrup
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Reading
Posts: 1
Bill Burrup

Originally Posted by johngreen View Post
I note that Fairflight was hardly even "very new at Biggin" in 1981 as my introduction to (and short lived occupation within) the world of aircraft mechanics was to be employed by them about ten years earlier when, from my perspective, Fred Mulligan ran the practical side of the business in a continuum of harmony and conflict with his son Paul. I worked mostly as an assistant to two other mechanics, one from Africa (Zaki perhaps?) and an Indian whose name escapes me, under a supervisor very possibly named Wally.

These were the days of maintaining Doves and Herons belonging to other outfits as well as those of the company including Oscar India and Fox Zulu, the later which was destroyed by fire on the tarmac outside the hangar whilst undergoing a major maintenance check.

Back then, Biggin was still a small village community starring the likes of Bill Webb and his own red painted Dove, Coby with the majestic moustache living between the wooden control tower and his red Prentice (which for some reason my brain can still remember to have been be registered G-APPL!), Robin the Lord with his Red Roller and his ever present young friends and the diminutive Stan huddled over the single electric heater in the fuel hut in the company of his somewhat larger girlfriend Daisy.

Behind the hangar was a tiny welding and machine workshop, filled with equipment and stuff where Bill - could it have been Burrup? - much to my youthful fascination and amazement, could fabricate various highly complex aircraft components from plain sheets of steel or other metal stock.

Others remembered from that time were David Merritt, who had small office somewhere adjacent to Dillow's cafe and the office of Jock Maitland and I think his then assistant or colleague David Orme. At the other end of the hangar was the cleaning business of Mark Campbell (sadly lost with Ted White in Malta a few years later).

At around that time or maybe a little earlier, another most obvious presence in the vicinity was the slowly disintegrating, white painted Lancaster which thankfully was eventually preserved to become the now better known Just Jane that will - perhaps - one day be able to fly for a return visit.

Warming memories from what now feels to have been a totally different life to this one...
Bill Burrup, my Grandfather had his workshop at Biggin Hill. I know little about what he did and came across your note. Lovely to read what a positive impact he had on your teenage self. I shall be visiting Biggin Hill soon to visit the Heritage Hangar, I would be keen to know where the Fairflight hangar (and Bill's workshop) was in comparison, is anyone able to help?
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