Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thunder God

Thunder God
Originally uploaded by The original SimonB
As a result of staff sickness and holidays I got called up at short notice to help run our stall at the Lowestoft air festival last Friday. What a real blow that was to go back to my old publicity routes and deal with the public face to face!

Actually, we only had quite straightforward questions to deal with - nobody shouting about poor service or wasting public money (which I was expecting) or things not working etc. But to counter that it did chuck it down most of the afternoon (luckily we have an awning on our publicity van) with three other attendees getting struck by lightning.

So, I got to see quite a bit of the show as well as an incredible cross-section of the general public who came to see it. (Some of them can be seen on flickr by clicking on the Vulcan and wandering around the airshow set) . And jolly good it was too. This seems to be becoming my year of sky-watching as this now makes three events already attended with the prospect of one or two more to come. But that wasn't what I was going to waffle about. Yes this is the intro to another list...

The Vulcan up there is possibly the loudest thing I have ever heard. Even half a mile out to sea those four Olympus engines were still enough to make the ground shake and rattle the fillings. I've been trying to think of anything I've experienced that has come close, and come up with:

Other planes - obviously enough. I have been at the business end of the runway at RAF Lakenheath, been overflown by Concorde and other jets but don't recall the racket being quite that awesome.

Iron Maiden in concert.

Standing next to the actual bell known as Big Ben (not just from the street below) at the striking of the hour. Which was strangely muted - I think it needs to surrounding buildings and air to amplify and echo the famous bongs into what you hear from outside.

The cat, snoring.

Various roadworks.

Next door doing DIY (or indeed going up and down the stairs).

Downstairs neighbours at our old flat in the throes of passion...

But nothing like that gorgeous piece of flying technology, so recently brought back to life.


John Medd said...

Many moons ago I used to pass RAF Waddington on the way to Lincoln. I'd see the Vulcan Bombers most days. And when they were taking off you'd feel them - a bit like Concorde.

Lee Slator said...

My family grew up close to RAF Finningley near Doncaster, now the site of Robin Hood Airport. Every year we used to visit the air show there and I used to love the Vulcan. Like you say, one of the noisiest things on earth but a fantastic plane.

I've not had the pleasure of seeing it again since it has been resurrected. It's definitely on the 'to-do' list

Simon said...

Cheers both. Definitely worth seeking out a display while the old girl is still flying.

Bright Ambassador said...

The loudest thing I ever heard was FOUR Vulcans talking off at the same time in a simulated scramble at Finningley and Waddington airshows back in the 70s. My granddad and I were once moved on from the end of the runway at Waddington by the RAF Police, I think a 70 year-old man and his 5 year-old grandson were doing some heavy duty Soviet spying work.
The Vulcans' final approach to Waddington was right over our house. Indeed