Barnes Wallis at Brooklands

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postwarblue
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Barnes Wallis at Brooklands

Post by postwarblue » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:10 pm

I have just spent a very enjoyable day at Brooklands near Weybridge. There are many echoes of Barnes Wallis at Brooklands where he was based during the Second World War with Vickers. The most obvious is a Wellington bomber recently recovered from Loch Ness into which it plunged in 1940. Much of the skin has gone, revealing all the detail of the geodetic construction which Wallis used to give the body greater strength for less weight. In the same hangar is a display about the man and nearby one can see and touch an original Upkeep - the depth-charge size cylindrical bomb at the heart of the Bouncing Bomb that destroyed the German dams in 1944. Also, a Grand Slam, the ten-ton bomb used to create a minor earthquake and so bring down structures that conventional bombing either didn't damage sufficiently or couldn't hit with the necessary accuracy; and Grand Slam's smaler cousin the Tallboy which finally sank the Tirpitz. All of these demonstrate Wallis' remarkable gift of lateral thinking allied to precision engineering. The library upstairs in the old clubhouse was Wallis' rather ill-lit office, it's not on the regular visitor route but one can blag one's way in. The whole thoroughly recommended as a place of pilgrimage for Old Blues. And if you have £360k to spare you can buy a Maybach from the nearby Merc centre.
'Oh blest retirement, friend to life's decline'

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