Saturday, 23 July 2011

the Canberra that went under the bridge

Continuing my series of true, gen-yoo-wine and authentic pictures of Aeroplanes That Flew Under The Clifton Suspension Bridge, here is a Canberra B2 jet bomber of 101 Squadron RAF, doing just that, on a summer's morning in 1951.

Come to think of it, in default of any further information on that flight, I reckon it's probably the 60th anniversary.

Shocking to think that it was so long ago... when I was very young, in Lancashire, I used to watch English Electric Lightnings flying around above where we lived, out on the flatlands of Longton Moss. They glinted silvery in the sun. They were test flying, from Samlesbury.

English Electric also built the Canberra. When we drove into Preston, we used to pass a long factory building that said English Electric on the wall, and I got excited at the thought of the jet aeroplanes they were building inside. It was not for some years that I discovered the company also built fridges....

..funny business, the companies that got involved with aircraft building. Like Boulton-Paul, who built the rather disastrous Defiant, and who are (or were) better known for building garden sheds....

some tags: flight, flying, flew, under, beneath, Bristol, Avon Gorge, aircraft, aeroplanes, RAF


  1. Where is the balloon with the startled thrush's exclamation? Or should that be a confused birdwatcher wondering about genetic mutations.

    My neighbour who flew for the navy, he is odd like that, landed on a main road
    near Birmingham because it was a bit foggy elsewhere and had to leave crew on board to guard the parachutes, very in demand for making underwear at the time. The one before him crashed his Harrier on the side of a German autobahn and got a huge bill from the German version of the RAC for his "breakdown".

    Planes, pilots hate us calling them that, find themselves in the most interesting places.

    This series of testosterone fuelled madness is most fun.

  2. So how old does that make Geraldine?

    It does make you wonder how safe planes must be. There's a lot of difference between a fridge and an aircraft. Perhaps a flying shed could be more credible......

  3. Hi Dru, just wandered by and saw your Canberra picture. You should change your byline to 'I draw really good pictures' I guess you make a living from them.
    English Electric also made TVs in the 50s. Huge things that were designed to stand in a corner, having a corner shaped back.

  4. This is that silent moment just before the noise of the jet engines bursts on the scene, Caroline. And nothing to do with my having cannibalised a previous illustration, ho no *cough*

    That's Geraldine's mum, I guess, Anji. The similarity is quite striking, isn't it? -It works the other way round, too; the Bristol Aeroplane Company, for instance, turned their hand to making prefab houses and motorcars after the war...

    Hi, Snafu! Thanks for dropping in, and thank you!

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