|Dad and I - just after my first run|
in the left hand seat
Thanks to his 'investment' we were able to acquire XL231 'Lusty Lindy' and although he was not an aircraft enthusiast he was happy to go along with the plan and buy a Victor. I knew he was hooked when we drove through the gate at RAF Marham and he saw the Gate Guardian XH673. "What's that aeroplane?" he asked, I then replied "Its a Victor". He then responded with "Wow! We are having one!" The rest is history...
Unfortunately on the delivery date of the 25th November he was unable to attend the arrival as both my mother and him were on holiday in Fuji.
Over the years he was able to have the occasional ride in XL231, socialise with the guys and generally continue to show an interest in what was happening. He handed XL231 over to myself in 1995 but, continued to remain interested. The annual Victor crew barbecue at his home during the August Elvington Airshow's were always a memorable event....
Sadly, he was taken from us by cancer on the morning of the 23rd June 2013, after an unbelievable 3 year battle, that would have sunk a lesser person after the initial 6 month diagnosis. He took the disease 'head on' and fought it every inch of the way, he amazed the medical staff with his positive attitude but sadly he couldn't win. The family and some close friends were at his bedside over the final 24 hours.
My father touched many people, he had an ability to 'enthuse' people and situations, that is what made him a success in his business life. His influence helped many people in their own businesses. Sadly for him in 1986 he was taken ill and this turned out to be eventually diagnosed as MS in 1999. His general manner could sometimes be classed as 'difficult', awkward and a bit odd at times, however, he refused to beaten by MS.
Without the foresight by him to buy XL231 then, there is absolutely no doubt she would have been turned into Coca Cola cans. Because of this, the historic and preservation world has the benefit of a supremely rare and elegant aircraft and it has altered my life and many others on the team and otherwise in so many ways.
Please support Macmillan Cancer Support www.macmillan.org.uk whose care of my dad was fantastic.