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Page 168

 

We were at the Temora Aircraft Showcase Day, weren't we?

As if I didn't know. Four planes flew so one photo of each is fair, isn't it?

Tiger Moth

A solo pilot in a Tiger Moth sits in the rear cockpit.

The engine in a Tiger Moth is upside down compared with your ordinary car engine. The crankshaft is at the top and the pistons hang underneath. Why? Because the propeller fits directly onto the engine crankshaft, no gearing being required. If the crankshaft was at the bottom there would be a greater chance of the prop striking the ground in an a taxiing incident.

This pretty little aircraft can be a devil to start. There's no starter motor in a Tiger Moth; there used to be no brakes on the wheels either and only a skid in place of the tailwheel. The Chief Engineer starts the engine the hard way by swinging the propeller and often he's worn out by the time it fires.



Hudson

The pristine Lockheed Hudson, the only remaining flying Hudson in the world.

There is a large gun turret on the fuselage visible just ahead of the tail assembly. I wonder if the gun is inhibited through the arcs that would otherwise allow it to shoot off its own tail fins? Or is that why it has two? Either way, if you ever want to approach a Hudson in combat, behind a tail fin is the place to be.



Spitfire

Sleek. Isn't she the prettiest aeroplane you ever saw? The Mark 16 Spitfire

Our Pajero has an engine capacity of 3.2 litres. The Merlin engine in this Spitfire has a capacity of 27 litres.



Cessna A-37B Dragonfly

The Cessna A-37B Dragonfly. A good solid and very functional aircraft but not the prettiest.
The Temora Aviation Museum is slowly restoring a second Dragonfly.



Builder's Bum

Excuse me, Miss, I'm trying to take good pictures for our web site and you're really distracting me!
Oh, for an ice cube!



Nose Art

Okay, I did say only four aircraft photos but this is a photo of some artwork which just happens to be on a
Yakovlev Yak 52-TW, a Russian-built trainer and aerobatic aircraft.



Yak Undercarriage

The theme was continued down the undercarriage leg and the pitot cover was actually 'furry!'

I took some photos of this Yak when it landed but I was too far away to do justice to the artwork. I read its registration on one of my photos and researched it on Google. There I found a beautiful close-up but the photo was copyrighted. What to do, what to do? Risk copying it? But perhaps the Yak was still on the airfield. It was, but way out in a parking area. Of course, the public is prohibited from crossing the fence to go 'airside'.

It has been my experience that if you march out as if you owned the place, you can usually get away with a lot. And anyway, they can't gaol you for it, can they? Can they?

Well, there was nobody around to throw me out so I was able to walk out, get some nice photos and get back unnoticed.

Wheelies With Wings

There is a great scheme operating at Temora to enable disabled people to learn to fly in specially adapted aircraft. Wheelies with Wings it's called, and its motto is Attitude Determines Altitude. It is financed by David Lowy and funds raised for the purpose. Everybody involved gives their time for nothing. When there's an Aircraft Showcase Day the student pilots come out onto the apron in their wheelchairs as shown below and those who have flown solo are given awards.

Wheelies with Wings

The bloke in the black pants and white shirt is Michael David Bishop, Baron Glendonbrook CBE, a member of the British House of Lords. Almost totally hidden behind him is David Lowy.

Lord Glendonbrook, a British businessman and life peer, rose to prominence as owner of the airline British Midland. He has spent most of his life in aviation and sponsors student pilots who have completed the Wheelies with Wings course to continue on to solo status.

Temora, Narrandera, Leeton, Griffith and back to Temora

Since there was to be another Aircraft Showday at Temora two weeks after the one we had just attended, we decided to visit Narrandera and Griffith to fill the time - we hadn't previously visited either place. We discovered that not having previously visited a town was not, on its own, sufficient reason to go there.

Narrandera was a nice little town which made its tourist staff work extremely hard to make it sound interesting.


Giant Guitar

Leeton

We decided that if Griffith was going to be another Narrandera we might as well leave the caravan where it was and drive there for a recce and call at Leeton on the way. Then if either town had a lot to offer the tourist we could return with the caravan.

Leeton was a nice, friendly town. It had an old film theatre called the Roxy.

Roxy Theatre

The Roxy and the War Memorial look spectacular when lit up at night - we saw a photo of them in a brochure.

The Roxy was built in 1930 and its main claim to fame is that it has continued to function as 'a cultural, social and entertainment venue for the people of Leeton' to this day.

Griffith

Griffith was much larger than we expected. What can I say about it? The place was designed by Walter Burley Griffin and named after some N.S.W. government minister. We saw a very long freight train drawn by three locos that travelled so slowly the crossing bells went on for ever. There was a café with some very strange patrons indeed. If you live in the area and want some retail therapy then Griffith is the town for you - there is even a Bunnings store.

The journey to and from Griffith was noteworthy in that the landscape was dead flat with irrigation canals and channels criss-crossing it. It reminded us of East Anglia back in Merry England. In 1817 John Oxley described the area as uninhabitable and useless to civilised man. Old John had reckoned without the irrigation that was to come at the end of the century and which would transform a dustbowl into a foodbowl with strong food and wine industries.

On our return to Narrandera we decided we would hitch up the 'van in the morning and wander back to Temora. We like Temora.

Cooling system update.

Touch wood but the car's cooling system has settled down. We've driven several hundred kilometres both with and without the caravan and the temperature needle could have been painted on the instrument's glass, so stable has it become.

What is different? What has changed? Nothing that I'm aware of.

Remembrance Sunday, Temora style

We always attend the Remembrance Day service at the cenotaph in whichever town we happen to be in. It is nice to see a crowd attend to show respect, not only to those who paid the ultimate price but also those who returned damaged, either mentally or physically. We remember, too, the equally brave men and women who were lucky and returned unscathed. We spare a thought for the many families and friends of those who fought and were injured or killed. They, too, suffered.

We pinned on our poppies, the ones we've worn for the last five years, and arrived just before 11 o'clock to find the small crowd forming three sides of a square, the cenotaph memorial in the centre of the fourth side and the flagpole to its right bearing a large flag at half mast. There was also a table with a tape recorder upon it and three elderly people in their Sunday best and lots of medals stood behind it. At 11 o'clock the tape recorder played a trumpet rendering of the Last Post and the flag was lowered. This was followed by a very short two minutes of silence after which the large flag was raised to somewhere between half and full mast.

One of the smart gentlemen at the table read out the order for the wreaths to be layed as various people representing an assortment of community organisations, including four schools, walked forward and placed them at the cenotaph. As they did so the tape recorder played some pipe music. The last to be called was the Temora Police representative. We all waited but policemen there were none. The Smart Man muttered something about them not seeming to be there. Nor, for that matter, were the other emergency services represented. There was not a cleryman to be seen and not a prayer was uttered at the ceremony - not aloud, anyway.

Does anybody else wish to lay a wreath? asked the Smart Man. I turned to see if anyone would take him up on his offer. One woman approached the memorial. When I turned back Pam was half way out with a small bunch of wild flowers wrapped in some baking foil.
Whatsatfor? I asked out of the corner of my mouth when she returned.
Stephen, she whispered. Stephen was killed in the Falklands War.

There was supposed to be a flypast now but that's not going to happen either, said the Smart Man. We will now sing the National Anthem, and the tape recorder struck up Advance Australia Fair. The crowd sang with loud and hearty voice, as if compensating for the absence of the Police and the flypast. When they reached In joyful strains then let us sing it became very ragged as members of the crowd stopped droning, pretending they knew the words. The three people who did know the words, and Pam who had them on a piece of paper, rapidly faded away when they found themselves alone. The tape recorder was hastily switched off and the Smart Man declared we'd sing God Save The Queen because it is Jubilee Year. Four lines of that anthem were considered sufficient and the music stopped followed by the individual members of the crowd at times of their own choosing.

And that was that. All over for another year and the time was just 11:10.

It was good to see the school children there but sad that the defence forces, the emergency services and the churches were not represented. And that nobody collects money by selling poppies any more. I found it particularly disappointing that the one town, the only town in Australia which could have provided a flypast by a Spitfire, didn't. It's all very well saying Lest we forget but are we forgetting?

So we went home, calling for a second breakfast at a café on the way.

And so ends Page 168.

Footnote: This re-working of Page 168 was completed on 4 April 2013. It conforms to HTML5 and CSS level 3.