A glass of bubbly with Joan Collins

My recent experience of lunching under Concorde at the Bristol Aerospace Museum – organised by the people running our ITV Pension Fund – jogged a few memories for our man with a camera Rob Coles.

He writes:

“Your pension provider is better than mine, the Civil Service/Government has never invited me to lunch!

A neighbour who is very involved with the Filton Museum, took me to the Hundred Years of Bristol Aviation Display.  And what a display! From the Giant Russian  Antonov AN2 biplane, reputed to be able to fly backwards in a head wind, to the Vulcan.  Was there a window left unbroken in Cribbs Causeway?

I saw the last Concord flight standing with a very large crowd at Toghill. A grey dark day but, just as Concorde passed, there was a patch of clear blue sky with the plane in bright sun.  Does not happen like that for steam trains!   

From the same location Sam from the Chronicle photographed it landing at Filton with the newspapers 3000mm lens (I had to pay for my lenses so 300mm was the best I had).

When I was but a lad I heard my first plane to go through the sound barrier at a Filton display. It was a USAF Super Sabre.

Could not have thought that Bristol men would build a plane that would carry passengers to New York at Mach 2 !   

My best friend at school tells how he sat next to Joan Collins drinking champagne at Mach 2 when returning from New York. Beats my flights in a Dragon Rapide and an Avro Anson! 

 Great mistake not to make Filton Bristol’s Airport – what with its motorway and rail links. Must be something I don’t know?

PS My father worked at Bristol Aeroplane Company but died two months after I was born so I never knew him. Is there nowhere that I don’t have links?  I was born in a house in Station Road Filton but it’s now a traffic Island.”