Monday, March 2, 2009

What's in a Word?

In a time long ago, in fact WAY back in the last century, a time when aeroplanes had propellers there was a very odd thing happened to an aircraft called a York. It was a derivative of a World War 2 bomber; it looked it, flew like it and was very noisy even with the door shut.

A flight engineer called George Savage was on the flight deck of a York along with a Captain named MacKenzie – he later became chief pilot of British United Airways (what do you mean you've never heard of them! -Ed). George was a miserable old sod and half way down the runway Captain MacKenzie turned to George and said "cheer up George." George thought he said – gear up George. The rest is history as one very sad York sank back on the runway with very bent propellers. (with thanks to Roy Saxton)

That's a York in the background with me aged 14, and my little sister Sue. I was about to go and sleep in it as I was learning to glide with the Scouts. It had that wonderful smell that all old aeroplanes have!

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