Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Architects of the Air

This is Royal Mail presentation pack 227 issued on 10th June 1997. It highlights famous British aircraft designers and some of their iconic aeroplanes.

20 Pence: R J Mitchell and the Supermarine Spitfire
26 Pence: Roy Chadwick and the Avro Lancaster
37 Pence: R E Bishop and the De Havilland Mosquito
43 Pence: George Carter and the Gloster Meteor
63 Pence: Sydney Camm and the Hawker Hunter

I have a particular fondness for some of these aircraft due to family connections. During WW2 my father worked on both the Spitfire and the Lancaster as a rigger, ensuring that the machines were repaired and maintained. During the 1980s they became one of my husband’s responsibilities; as part of his rôle as an engineering officer at RAF Coningsby and in the aircrafts’ position in the historic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The picture below is the cover of the explanatory booklet produced the year before he took over the post.

Just to put things in context, here is the said officer (the good looking one on the left) and the Group Captain, showing round The Lord Trefgarne, who was then Under Secretary of State for Defence Support. This not the BBMF hangar however, but another of his responsibilities, the hangar housing Phantoms.

And behind my husband, his sister and niece is ‘The City of Lincoln’ Lancaster at RAF Waddington in 1976.

This is a post for Viridian’s Sunday Stamps, which this week has a theme of aeroplanes and air transport. Fly over and see what other contributors have brought along to the airshow.


  1. Great Post, but had a round-about search finding it. Not sure why but the link took me to a search page.

  2. I never had any family members associated with aircraft so I don't know much about planes.

  3. Thank you for explaining the multiple family connection. I'll get rid of the misleading link.
    Thank you for joining in this week!

  4. I've received the 43 p. stamp. Its colours are wonderful!

  5. I have the Gloster Meteor too but had not seen the rest of this fabulous set. The family connection will make them special for you.

  6. The importance of fighter planes cannot be overestimated. Not only during WWII, but I remember vividly their deployment during the war in Yugoslavia, and even nowadays they have sent planes to the east of Europe to reassure the former Sovjet states now part of the EU. In Holland we don't have tanks anymore, but we still have very sophisticated fighter planes.

  7. I've only got the spitfire of this set so did not realise they had issued them with such an evocative title as 'architects of the air'. Your double connection with these aircraft is fascinating. I visited Parham Airfield museum in Suffolk a few years ago and a Dutch family were trying to trace a crew their father had flown with in WW2 which resulted in much discussion with all the old boys running the place while they tried to work out who might still be around who might have known, it was like a verbal who's who of East Anglian RAF residents.

  8. Nice post. The sound of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, Nell. My grandfather rescued a test pilot during the war. His plane came to grief and he parachuted to a spot near the copse where grandfather was working.

  9. I have no recollection of this set at all, which is a pity as it's so attractive.

    I have my father-in-law's log books from when he was in the RAF during WW2.