32 members enjoyed an afternoon at Tewkesbury Abbey, the second of our summer visits. We had an hour and a half’s excellent tour with many interesting and amusing stories associated with the history of the Abbey. This was followed by a cup of tea and biscuits in the Touching Souls tearoom.
The tower completed by 1150 is considered by Pevsner to be the finest romanesque tower in the country
There was an interesting sculpture outside the cafe – Touching Souls
A packed hall had a wonderful April lecture about the Typhoon aircraft when first designed and built in World War II given by James Rendell.
He first told us some of his life story including has many and varied jobs; one of which was being a lead architect for The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury. Britain needed a fast fighter bomber to keep up with the German Focke-Wulf Fw 190s. Its speed of over 400mph was enabled by having two 12 cylinder engines joined together ! It weighed 7 tons – twice the weight of a spitfire so there were many technical problems to overcome. It was built by the Gloster Aircraft Company at Brockworth. Over 3,000 Typhoons were built there. Initiall they were fitted with .303 guns but later had guns firing the 20mm cannon rounds. Towards the end of the war they were very successful at destroying tanks.
He showed us a video of an interview with two women who worked on different parts of the assembly line Phyllis Gough and Peggy Fisher. The link is to a separate interview with Steve Knibbs of BBC Points West (https://youtu.be/zFBKq15wBxo ).
After the AGM our Chairman Dood gave a talk about the history of motor rallying. It was interesting to hear about the enthusiasm for this sport in the very early 1900s when the drivers had no protection and the roads were unmetalled. The 1970s and 1980s were the high point of rallying and the decline since then has several causes. the photo shows how much mud could accumulate on a car.
The Society had a very funny but also informative talk by Ian Basket (pictured) about the famous heist at the last meeting. He showed many photos of the sites involved and had tracked down several artefacts e.g. the mail carriage from the train. We found out how well planned it had been and what happened to the participants after the event. A crucial part involved a glove and the signal (the same type of signal as in the photo). An excellent talk.