Ever since XH558 did her last flight on 28th October 2015 (seen only by a few), I have longed to go and visit her in her hangar, but as it's 90 odd miles and a strange place to get to with the M62, A1, M1 and M18, plus the weather over the winter, it seemed like a very distant prospect.
HOWEVER! Husband had to go to Castleford to collect some engine parts to rebuild the engine he has in at the moment. He did suggest a coffee morning, but they are only every month. I then had the bright idea to look on the Vulcan website and lo and behold I found a VIP tour at the weekend he was planning on travelling, and knew I had over £100s worth of Leisure Vouchers. I did a bit of research both at Vulcan HQ, and Premier Inn, where I knew the vouchers were accepted. All OK. Rang to check with my Mum - she was fine and said GO! So, I booked and we went:
First of all we stopped off at Castleford, which is a town which featured heavily in Roman times, I had a quick stomp around the town and found an interesting feature!
|I was so curious as to why a shark was just there in the back streets of Castleford.|
Then went back to the garage and took a picture of this little chappie!
We then travelled over to Doncaster to the Premier Lodge where we were housed, fed and watered for NOTHING! God Bless the ancient Barclaycard points I had earned many years ago and transferred into Leisure Vouchers, then updated. They had to be used by end of this month though.
Early morning, after very little sleep, as we were both so excited, over to Finningley, where we entered the hangar, joined by only 21 other people for this VIP tour. Usually it was groups of 7 but this time as certain people were a family group and they went together, husband and I had a guide all to ourselves.
It was absolutely fantastic to see our 'girl' as we enthusiasts call her. Just take a look at the photos. It was a most fantastic day, we drove back home almost in a daze,through the flatlands, past the power houses of Knottingley and Drax etc, to more familiar scenes, back home for a welcome cuppa. It was only last week and it seems like a month ago. When can we go again???????? We'll have to see.
Please enjoy my photos, I'm not going to bore you with all the 75 I took!
I am honoured to have had the opportunity to see this amazing and iconic plane in all her glory in the hangar.
Next time I will post some photos of the AVRO Heritage Museum over at Woodford,Cheshire, a little closer to home. We went there the weekend before Christmas and it will definitely not be the last time.
|You need to be fit to get into this cockpit, there is usually a ladder below the yellow one!|
|How huge is this wingspan?|
|This was taken from the first floor of the hangar offices.|