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Herts & Essex Aero Club

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Herts & Essex Aero Club

Old 11th Dec 2006, 11:32
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Herts & Essex Aero Club

I am seeking pictures of Herts & Essex Aero Club (Broxbourne Herts.) although that was the offical address, it was in fact formed on a Frogley Bros. farm field in Nazeing Essex in 1931, where it remained until 1953 when it moved lock stock & barrel to Stapleford Tawney.

Any Pictures of the aircraft, buildings, etc etc. would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11th Dec 2006, 12:25
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Broxbourne

I think there was an article on this subject in an old DH Moth Club magazine, which had a number of photographs. If I can find it I'll let you know.

My daughter lives in Broxbourne and I've often wondered where the airfield might have been as there seems to be few indications left.

I spent many hours at Stapleford in the late 50's watching the comings and goings of their Tiger Moths. I believe Neville Browning was CFI at the time and I once stood about six foot away from where he taxied a Tiger Moth (I think it was G-AIDS) into the fence at the edge of the car park.

Those were the days!

Cheers

Southender
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Old 11th Dec 2006, 14:46
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There is a significant history of the Herts & Essex club in our old friend of a book, Tony Merton-Jones' "History of British Independent Airlines" under the Thurston Aviation heading.

Eric Thurston is still very regularly at Stapleford.
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Old 12th Dec 2006, 11:44
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Herts & essex

Thanks for your reply Southender
G-AIDS is still around in the Southend area, & was with the club for sometime.
The old airfield was on the left hand side of the corner of the Rd, leading down form Broxbourne Station, the entrance was just around the corner of Lower Nazeing Rd., it is now a large boating lake.

Greenviewpark
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Old 12th Dec 2006, 11:54
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Herts & Essex

A bit more Gen on Broxbourne during WW2, it was used as a 'Repair & Maintainance Depot' for RAF training A/C. mostly Percival Proctors, Miles Magisters, & a few other sundrie types, (one being the famous Gull Six flown by Jean Batten on her pre-war record breaking flights) & later for conversions on Harvards until 1945.
One of the Frogleys ('Buster') was the test pilot throughout the period 1940/45 on all A/C. except the Harvards, he always wore a brown trilby hat, & never wore a parachute.

Greenviewpark
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Old 12th Dec 2006, 12:02
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There was an article about Broxbourne in Aeroplane several years back, which included a photo of poor old G-AIDS lodged in the top of some local trees!

I'll see if I can locate the issue...
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Old 12th Dec 2006, 12:32
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WHBM

I'm surprised to hear Eric Thurston is still around at Stapleford as, to my teenage perception, he appeared to be middle aged in the 1950's.

Congratulations to him then.

I recall him sweeping into Stapleford in his Bentley on occasions and parking in front of the Thurston Aviation hangar, where he kept an immaculate Miles Gemini (G-AIHM I believe).

On the subject of G-AIDS, having not seen her since my Stapleford days, I was very pleasantly surprised to see her over South Essex a couple of years ago in a beautiful blue and silver colour scheme.

Cheers

Southender
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Old 12th Dec 2006, 12:37
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Greenviewpark

I know that area of Broxbourne very well and will try to picture the airfield next time I am up there.

Unfortunately, my magazine is in store, but I will try to retrieve it and let you have a copy of the article.

Cheers

Southender
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Old 12th Dec 2006, 13:41
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Herts & Essex

It would be great to see the copy you have Southender, my thanks for your offer, My friend has written two books on Broxbourne aerodrome which were published a couple of years ago, but I am still seeking pics., I would love to get a few of the clubs Proctors as well.
I grew up in Stanstead Abbotts, worked at Broxbourne aerodrome & lived in Hoddesdon until Dec.1998, now Nr Clacton airfield where I was able to look over G-AIDS a couple of years or so ago. After 60 odd years she was in fine form.

Greenviewpark
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Old 12th Dec 2006, 14:03
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Originally Posted by southender View Post
....Eric Thurston....
Here's Eric
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Old 12th Dec 2006, 16:21
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Herts & Essex

A slight correction to my siting of the airfield entrance, I note that I sited it as being on the left of old Nazeing rd, that should be NEW Nazeing Rd. so to recap :- Take New Nazeing Rd. from Broxbourne station, then over the river bridge, further along the road bends to the left, the area to the left inside the bend was once the airfield, the entrance was a few hundred yards around that bend in New Nazeing Rd.
Over recent years that corner has been made less sharp & runs over what was a corner of the field & there used to be a 'T' junction to turn right into Keysor estate.

Greenviewpark
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Old 16th Dec 2006, 11:01
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I did my flying RAF scholarship at Herts and Essex in 1958. Tiger Moths G-AIDS (on which I soloed) and G-ANKU, if I remember right.
During the Christmas hols the CFI was John(?) Lamb, I think, who left that winter and later drove hovercraft in the early days of those machines. He was replaced before the Easter hols by the unique Neville Browning, whose flying career started on Sopwith Pups on the Western Front. He started us on aerobatics as soon as we (there was another guy with me whose name I have forgotten) had soloed.
I remember the intense cold as we used to get up early to fly before the wind got up and cook ourselves breakfast in the kitchen after an hour or so each in the circuit.
A great experience for a 17-year old lad.
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Old 16th Dec 2006, 20:09
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Neville Browning: now there's a name to remember

Anyone else have the pleasure of flying with him? Inverted low passes in the Chipmunk? His infamous encounter with Fred's Five (IIRC) at Farnborough?

And Schiller, we were still up and cooking breakfast in 1965, with Eric appearing a venerable old man in those days: I was pleased to meet him again a couple of years ago, when Flying Lawyer took me on a trip out to Stapleford
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Old 20th Dec 2006, 22:32
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I found the copy of Aeroplane I referred to above - the article was actually about an Engineer who started life at Broxbourne in the late 40s; it was the September 2002 issue. PM me if any of you would like to know more...

John, I know it's off topic but I'd love to know more about Neville Browning's encounter with Fred's Five (Sea Vixens?)

Cheers

Treadders
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Old 20th Dec 2006, 23:31
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Neville vs Sea Vixens, sometime mid/late 60's:

Nice man from CAA (they do/did have some)

Neville, were you flying last Saturday about 5nm west of Farnboro'

Yes

Did you happen to see some RN aircraft, in formation?

Yes, bloody things nearly ran into me, don't know what the world's coming to, no lookout, etc etc

Did you happen to read the NOTAM about Farnboro' Air Show?

No: did you send me a copy?

Please don't do it again, it rather spoilt the Sea Vixen's day, and put the programme a bit off schedule at SBAC


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Old 13th Feb 2009, 17:30
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Memories of Herts & Essex

Like you, I was fortunate enough to win a Flying Scholarship with the CCF and obtain my PPL at Herts & Essex. My logbook includes Peter Ayles [CFI], S. Parker [who was very short and always arrived at the aircraft with a huge stack of cushions so that he would be able to see out of the cockpit], and Jim McMahon. Aircraft were G-AIDS and G-ANKU. First solo 24 March 1957 at 17 years. Started me off in a 36 year career in aviation, the first 25 flying.
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 00:56
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Herts & Essex 1951 to 1953

I was doing a search for certain events during 1952. At that time I was working at Hawkers. It was a very interesting time.
Presently I am a volunteer at the Western Canada Aviation Museum. The museum recently had a 2-day visit by a Lanchester. It certainly brought the crowds out.
I learnt to fly at Broxbourne. Peter Ayles was C.F.I. then. I later heard he was flying an aircushion vehicle at the Montreal Expo.
There were a number of air cadets, male and female, who were on scholarships also learning to fly at Broxbourne.
There was a Dart Kitten and a B.A. Swallow in the hangar at the time I was there but they did not fly while I was there. Once I got my Privat Pilot's licence I joined the R.A.F.V.R. and flew Chipmunks at Redhill and Fairoaks.
The aircraft I flew at Broxbourne were the following: Taylorcraft, Piper Cub and Tiger Moth. At that time a deadstick landing from 3,000 ft and also spin recovery was required for a PPL. There was also an Annual Dinner and I do have photos from that time but so far I do not know where all my aircraft photos are.
I flew an "anti-aircraft tracking" exercise with an Australian in a Gemini but I do not remember his name nor the registration letters of the aircraft. I was a deep blue colour I believe. I also went on an similar tracking exercise in an Oxford.
I wonder if anyone is still around that remembers anything from those days.
The move to Stapleford Tawney was in progress the last time I was in the neighbourhood but I did not know that Broxbourne airfield was now a lake!
The people who have been reminescing have later dates than mine but they still have good memories.
Thank you all.
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 06:33
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Broxbourne

1951 student
I have in my book collection, one written by Harry Smith called "One foot on the ground", and in it, he has quite a bit about his time at Broxbourne, plus photographs.
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 12:51
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Eric Thurston did my PPL GFT 15 years ago. Great man.

Best bit of advice I have ever been given came from Eric:

Any pilot who thinks that he is a good pilot is actually a dangerous pilot.
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 19:33
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Sir George Cayley
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Didn't the Chickens roost at Broxbourne too, before Tapleford Stawney?

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