Planes and views and thrills…

‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ wrote Keats, presumably with October in mind.

For the Cleddau crew this October has developed into a ‘Season of trips and lunches in fresh air…

First there was an outing to Shuttleworth for a trundle around the exhibits – aircraft, cars, buses, tractors and motorbikes – along with the Godmanchester Friends and US Don.

The Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden Aerodrome in Bedfordshire  Old Warden Aerodrome, Old Warden in Bedfordshire, is a wonderful museum, where aircraft and vehicles are restored and maintained in working order. (The Collection was founded in 1928 by Richard Shuttleworth, and after his death during World War 2 his mother Dorothy set up the Shuttleworth Trust to maintain the exhibits.)

The last flying day of the season was two days previously, so there was a certain amount of tidying up still to be done.

Aviation enthusiasts adore this place, being able to get close up to wonderful flying machines.

Whether a flying buff or a social historian or a person with an eye for colour and shape this is a place where there is much to look at.


Were these volunteers doing a job – or just having a joyride past the hangers?


Serious maintenance work was under way on an Avro Anson.    Those of a competitive nature will admire this aircraft, the DH88 Comet that was winner of the 1934 England to Melbourne Air Race.

Did ever you see such gleaming tractors or such ungainly buses…?

Just behind the hangers is The Swiss Garden, created between 1820 and 1835. It’s a fanciful place, where every turn of the paths reveals a new and unexpected vista.

Stained glass window Inside the mountain chapel 

The Swiss Cottage 

Ironwork Arch

The Grotto 

The Fernery 

Middle Pond 

Magnificent tree 

Remember the Peacock sign – perhaps it should have been re-worded to BEWARE THE PEACOCKS WHICH ARE INCLINED TO CROWD THE PUBLIC


A trip out west to Pembrokeshire to visit family inevitably involves a trip round the Angle Peninsula and visits to various locations along the south coast.

Low tide at West Angle Bay 

The magnetic draw of the sea at Freshwater West. Were these sandpipers along the shoreline? (No, oyster catchers, according to Techno Son-in-Law).

Boatwif’s tidal swimming pool at Stackpole Quay had to be checked out     (Again the tide was well out.)

A beach-wide stroll at Freshwater East   

was followed by lunch at a perfect picnic spot. 

Then further east, there was another good lunch spot at Saundersfoot, beside the harbour,    all decked out for the World Rowing Coastal Championships and the Beach Sprint Finals

Tenby in off-season is a delight.    Tucked down between the harbour and the North Beach promenade is the tiny Seamen’s Chapel, seen here mid-afternoon, part in sun, part in shadow. 

A final outdoor lunch near the sea was taken very close to the Cleddau Bridge.        In the long view down the Milford Haven estuary are an oil refinery and power station on the south bank, gas storage tanks and wind turbines on the north bank and (centre left) the white bulk of the Irish (Pembroke Dock to Rosslare) ferry. 

Emotion runs high in Pembroke in the second week of October as the Michaelmas Fair clogs the Main Street. Love it, (fast food, loud thrills and kiddies’ rides) or loathe it (traffic disruption and pedestrians inconvenienced) it still goes on, year after year after year. Medieval charters allowed Pembroke the right to hold an annual hiring fair for farm workers. The hiring is long gone now but crowds still flock to the Fair for entertainment, amusement and social interaction.

On set up day the street was cleared of vehicles and closed to traffic… 

By 6pm the following evening drums were being assembled in the Town Hall lobby   – and then with a strong repetitive beat a wave of red-topped drummers and percussionists throbbed up the street, leading the Mayor, mace bearers and other local dignitaries to the Fair.    Local band Sambadoc,  well known for their volume and versatility, did the honours.

At the Waltzers the chief players in the mayoral party assembled on the passenger loading platform, the Town Crier read the traditional Cry of the Fair  the Mayor’s Chaplain recited a prayer, the Mayor declared the Fair open,  the bells were rung – and the Fair surged into action.

Nostalgia, there was such nostalgia…

October Trip Stats

664.6 road miles; 70+ museum exhibits; 2 peacocks; 4 outdoor lunches; 6 beaches surveyed / walked upon; 3 sisters visited;1 Irish ferry; I samba band; 4 mayors in regalia; 4 serious adult rides; 7 children’s rides; 0 swing boats; many tat and fast food stalls; 48 years since last attending Pembroke Fair…

























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