Look at Life Vol 01 Transport Sailing the Sky 1959

Comments from Andrew Hulme:

“I have a vague recollection that the filming was somehow organised by Alex,
but why I am not sure, given his occupation as a barrister for HMRC and
given I was only 14 or so at the time.

The winch was the Brute, (ex military Canadian Ford) . Note the Cambridge
registration JER 188 on the Brute (so it could drive to the Mynd). I never
drove that.

The winch driver is, I think, Paul Bethel-Fox launching on 06 with Smokey
Joe in the background, despite the shot of Bluebell taking off across the
runway (on 31?)

The Brute preceded the Beast. The Beast was to be on a RR Thorneycroft ex
military chassis and was huge, and burned copious amounts of petrol – but
the club could get duty rebate in those days. It was to have two large drums
at the back with cables going forward past the cab so the driver could watch
the launch facing forwards and looking out of the windscreen. The drums
were to wobble to negate the need for pay on gear. It did not get finished
and in due course Harry Boal said enough is enough, rolled the back axle
drum mounting off the back and had the Brute winch refurbished and fitted
to the “new” RR chassis. Like the Brute the driver sat in the cab sideways
looking out of the door. John Scott later rescued the back axle and its
internal dog clutch workings from the long grass or winch hut at Cambridge
and used it for the Scott winch which was the first we used at Duxford when
we switched from Auto-owing and was our first diesel powered winch (to
benefit from tax free red diesel, the duty rebate having been removed by
then). That Scott winch preceded the Picking winch. I did a fair bit of
winching with the Beast at Cambridge in its later years, as did Alan Dibdin.
It never made it to the Mynd and we used an ex ATC Wilde winch on an ex
military Humber lorry as a standby and for the Mynd trips. John Nunn
supplied gallons of orange paint (fell off the back of a lorry?) and
resprayed it all in orange. I digress………………back to the

I think the lady on the ground radio was Barbara Alexander?

The red Eagle being rigged near what later became the Club tug hanger is the
Club Eagle, though actually owned by Stu Johnson (he also owned the Skylark
3 which broke up over Ditton Lane with Ernie Clarke aerobating it) and I
think that it is Stu Johnson (but not sure) leaning on the Skylark 2 (56)
talking after Anne Welch. AWFE would know better. That hangar was the
ATC glider hangar until 1955 when 105 Gliding School closed down. At the
time of the film I doubt that club were using it as we did not get our first
Tiger (G-AHUE) until 1960. Probably Marshall were using it for storage

The cream and red Eagle at the Mynd could be the original one sponsored by
the boys’ comic “The Eagle”. The Hulme family saw it on the IoW when we
visited the gliding club there during a family holiday. When we saw it, it
had the Eagle Comic logo on the side.

The guy briefing the pupil in Bluebell then getting in the left hand seat is
Ken Machin (CFI before Ted)

The lady towing the silver trailer off after the radio call is towing the
Eagle trailer (built by John Hulme of Rathmore Road, Cambridge – for Stu
Johnson) – that’s another story!

She then turns up with the white Skylark 2 trailer with Club name and badge
on the side which I think was work carried out when the trailer came back
from Truro after my father’s 1957 flight (the two students sent by Pringle
managed to kill a pony on Dartmoor with father’s Wolseley 6/80 and the
Skylark 2 trailer so some work was needed!) Bryce was supposed to be doing
the retrieve after work, I recollect, but two students were sent by John
Pringle and dare not argue!

The Eagle later became 58, I think, and Bluebell was 55. Was the Oly 57?

The Tiger towing the Skylark (and Bluebell) at Marshalls would have been
one of Marshall’s Tigers (before we acquired G-AHUE our first Tiger)
(G-AHUE later met its demise in a mid-air at Staffordshire (it hit the tail
of an Oly 463 the nose of which later joined up with the tail of a crashed
463 from Portmoak and became Rudolf – my first glider which I bought for
£1200 with Phil King, Roy Brown and Ken Whiteley, from a guy at Doncaster
who had re-built it!)

The T21 “Min” built by Leighton Park school from a Slingsby kit, and shown
here at Lasham, later crashed or blew over, not sure which, and my father
bought the wreck and rebuilt it and it was the first of several T21s he
owned and rented out as “courtesy gliders” while he repaired various clubs’
two seaters.”

Comments from Anthony Edwards:

“2.12 I painted 56 on the tail of the Skylark II for the 1957 Nationals, and – yes – 55 on Bluebell and 57 on the Olympia. I don’t know who is speaking next to the Skylark.

2.46 Alex of course, Lionel Alexander.

2.52 Ken Machin indeed.

7.32 Barbara Alexander (formerly Green). Sounds as if Alex has left his sandwiches behind.

I never winched with the Beast, but I have no memory of the winching I must have done with the Brute. What I do remember is at the Mynd Camp before I went solo in 1956 the paying-on gear broke so we took it in turns working the slider to and fro manually with a long pole. It never occurred to any of us that the cable might break a few feet from the drum and the flailing end cut our heads off.

Happy Days, Anthony. “