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Balshaw's Grammar School
24-Oct-2017, 01:59 PM
Post: #501
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
(23-Oct-2017 08:00 PM)anacortesdamp Wrote:  Yes, John, I was with BAC all through the TSR-2 program. I went through the "shop floor" experience at Strand Road in September and October of 1963.The first two airplanes had been completed and moved by road to A&AEE Boscombe Down for flight trials. Eight more were under construction at Strand Road, two of them about 70% complete. I went back to RCAT Salford for my final year on 02 Jan 65.

After Wilson's Labour candidates had all agreed NOT to cancel the program, the miserable Bu---rs did, shortly after my college year started. Not only did they cancel it, they destroyed everything to do with it. All the airplanes under construction were sawn up. All drawings, documents and computer data were destroyed and the construction jigs were broken up and sold for scrap.

They announced also that the two complete airplanes would be destroyed. The first one had already flown at Boscombe. When Chief Teat Pilot Roland Beamont heard what had been done, he and his deputy announced to Boscombe tower that they wanted to get some more engine run data, since the engines were slated to go on the Concorde program. Permission was given. It was quite early morning, not much flight activity. The pilots got on board, fired everything up and taxied towards the run-up pens.

As they got to the end of the runway, they turned onto it, fire-walled the throttles and took off, taking the Boscombe tower by surprise. They flew back to Warton and hid the plane in one of the little-used hangars on the Ribble Estuary side of the field. Just to tick off Wilson and his cronies, they'd get it out from time to time and do very visible engine runs and taxi tests,

Eventually the Tories got back into government and politely asked if BAC would let them have the #1 airplane for (I think) the RAF Museum. Whichever museum got it, I think it's still on display.

I was assigned a crappy draughtsman position at Warton after graduation and decided to get out. Many of my co-workers had already emigrated to the USA. I stayed in the UK for three more years, first with a machine-tools company in Coventry, then 18 months with Norton-Villiers in Wolverhampton.

My wife and I and our two daughters emigrated to Seattle in July of 1968. We're now retired but still in Washington State, in the seaside town of Anacortes.


Frank

Now that you mention it I remember hearing that all the jigs and fixtures had to be destroyed, but I didn't know about 'hiding' the plane.
I seem to recall seeing a TSR-2 on ground display at Farnborough Air Show, late 60s I should think, or maybe my memory fails!

A carload of us, all from Leyland, used to go to Farnborough and Paris air shows on alternate years. Did you ever get to those on business?

John
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25-Oct-2017, 02:09 PM
Post: #502
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
saw an advert today for The Amanda Roocroft Theatre at Runshaw Tertiary College. https://www.runshaw.ac.uk/life-at-runsha...t-theatre/
Though I never knew Amanda I knew her uncle Neil who was one of my closest school colleagues. Neil sadly died last year. His older brother Roger was also at Balshaws and is Amanda's father.
Amanda is a leading operatic Soprano, a credit to the old school.
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26-Oct-2017, 07:13 PM (This post was last modified: 26-Oct-2017 07:14 PM by anacortesdamp.)
Post: #503
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
Thanks for that link, Noel. Amanda's mother is another old Balshavian and was in my B-stream classes from 2 through 5. Her maiden name was Valerie Metcalfe. Roger was in the same year A-stream classes.

She played piano at a professional standard for years, even when still at BGS, including recitals at Balshaw's. I don't think she went professional, but I expect she still plays.

Frank
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02-Nov-2017, 09:24 PM
Post: #504
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
(26-Oct-2017 07:13 PM)anacortesdamp Wrote:  Thanks for that link, Noel. Amanda's mother is another old Balshavian and was in my B-stream classes from 2 through 5. Her maiden name was Valerie Metcalfe. Roger was in the same year A-stream classes.

She played piano at a professional standard for years, even when still at BGS, including recitals at Balshaw's. I don't think she went professional, but I expect she still plays.

Frank

Valerie Roocroft taught at Wellfield High School for several years Frank and ran a successful school brass band there - my son and daughter were both in it.

She also conducted Rivington & Adlington Brass Band, her husband Roger, their son and daughter (Amanda) and my son and daughter were all members of that band.

I don't think she ever played piano professionally.

John
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03-Nov-2017, 10:15 AM
Post: #505
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
That's interesting to read about Valerie. I'm pretty certain she was a decent singer too, taking one of the lead part in Mikado at school around 1960 ish? Yumyum maybe?
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03-Nov-2017, 10:14 PM
Post: #506
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
(03-Nov-2017 10:15 AM)noel Wrote:  That's interesting to read about Valerie. I'm pretty certain she was a decent singer too, taking one of the lead part in Mikado at school around 1960 ish? Yumyum maybe?

Yes you're right.....I remember going to a performance of the Mikado. Valerie and Greta McCalla were 2 of the '3 little girls from school'! I can't think who the third was.Someone, somewhere will have a programme for that.
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03-Nov-2017, 11:38 PM
Post: #507
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
(03-Nov-2017 10:14 PM)jwhi Wrote:  
(03-Nov-2017 10:15 AM)noel Wrote:  That's interesting to read about Valerie. I'm pretty certain she was a decent singer too, taking one of the lead part in Mikado at school around 1960 ish? Yumyum maybe?

Yes you're right.....I remember going to a performance of the Mikado. Valerie and Greta McCalla were 2 of the '3 little girls from school'! I can't think who the third was.Someone, somewhere will have a programme for that.

Oops.....that should be '3 little maids from school' !
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04-Nov-2017, 10:02 PM
Post: #508
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
The Mikado made me aware of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, I think they are called. I bought the record and wore it out listening to it. The humour, the lyrics , hasn't been anything like it since.
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04-Nov-2017, 10:29 PM
Post: #509
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
(04-Nov-2017 10:02 PM)noel Wrote:  The Mikado made me aware of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, I think they are called. I bought the record and wore it out listening to it. The humour, the lyrics , hasn't been anything like it since.

I'm quite a fan too - I've a cd of G&S in the car which I sing along to (of a fashion) on the long drive to the NW. I'll be back up there a week on Monday after a weekend with my son and family near Huddersfield.
Are your daughters and grandchildren in the area Noel?
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05-Nov-2017, 08:12 PM
Post: #510
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
I've got 3 sons John, all attached 2 married and the third has no intention, and 6 grandchildren. Woodville St. right by the side of the old school which incidentally hasn't altered since we were there. Even the metal framed windows . Though there is a pre-school nursery run on the bottom corridor. Off Canberra Rd. very close to that other school we went to, and the furthest away lives in Penwortham. He spent several years on the IOM and thoroughly enjoyed it. ,so we are always on baby sitting rota though thankfully the youngest starts school next September, we have him 2 days a week all day from 6am to after 5pm and it gets hard at times. I've only been to Huddersfield once back in the sixties, they still had trolley buses in those days.
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