We’re not big on going out at the weekend. Pete and Jack generally just want to chill on their days off. I tend to be busy working/doing housework – the sort of things I put off in the week in favour of concentrating on the boy. Also we prefer places quieter!
However, the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the local tri-services base was far too tempting and at 9am on a Saturday morning I’ve marshalled the enthusiastic (when booking but now reluctant and grumpy when the reality of getting up and going out has hit) troops to be ready for our tours.
We started with a tour of the Airfield Museum, gentleman was very knowledgeable and talked a great deal, lots of interesting facts (some dubious according to Pete) but I knew nothing about the significance of the local airfield at all. Turns out to have played a very significant role in the history of aviation training and Robert Smith-Barry was an interesting figure and one to do some more reading on.
That was followed by a tour of Fort Rowner. One of the Palmerston Forts built to defend Portsmouth Harbour from an inland invasion by the French.
Finishing off with the best part (for Pete and Sam anyway) – a tour of the hangar where they train engineers in fixing helicopters. We were given good views of the workings of jet engines and propellers and a chance to sit in the cockpit of a Sea King.