Ginger leaving home

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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby kylie_koyote » 13 Dec 2015, 12:24

Frecks wrote:Yes it would be easier to read but you would think Ginger's spelling would be a bit better. In Hits The Trail Ginger says he has taken the aeroplane's engines to pieces and reassembled them before they set out on their journey so he must have been quite skilled even then. Biggles also says in & Co. that Hebblethwaite is a good ground engineer although he has never actually flown abroad solo. There is quite a contrast between his very youthful, inexperienced side and his ability with his hands and technical things. In Air Commodore he has taken a crash course in the use of the radio system but in other ways he is still very young.


I've just finished a nonfiction WW2 memoir and the American aircrews were required to know how to assemble all their equipment blindfolded, to simulate darkness or loss of eyesight through injury. I presume it was the same for the RAF.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Frecks » 13 Dec 2015, 15:47

I doubt that would include taking out an engine and reassembling it in a workshop. I think there was a similar idea in the Army for the soldiers to be able to assemble their guns etc. in the dark.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Fairblue » 13 Dec 2015, 16:55

Frecks wrote:I doubt that would include taking out an engine and reassembling it in a workshop. I think there was a similar idea in the Army for the soldiers to be able to assemble their guns etc. in the dark.


Assembling and reassembling an engine blindfolded seems on the face of it a good idea, but probably totally impracticable. I, for one, couldn't see Biggles wanting to fly an aircraft under such conditions. But I did have to learn to disassemble and reassemble a weapon in the dark. The secret was to place each component in a certain order on the ground so it could be found again easily. As with everything else, though, practicing it was a lot easier than it would have have been in a real combat situation.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Frecks » 13 Dec 2015, 17:15

Yes it would have been very different if you were under fire.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby tiffinata » 13 Dec 2015, 20:49

Ever talked to a kid about dinosaurs?
Ginger reminds me of one of those, with his thirst for knowledge on aircraft.
He would have had access to the library, some films and who knows how many flying circuses there might have been? There were various air races that would have been in the daily newspapers and probably cinema newsreels. The Schneider Trophy and the Macrobertson Air Race are two I know of. WEJ wrote about the latter in one of his books and pretty much said "everyone knows about this one by now", even though the race had only just been finished.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Frecks » 14 Dec 2015, 09:19

Yes I am sure in the early 1930s there would have been plenty of ways of finding out about aviation. I wonder if many working class people had a wireless set at that time. We know Ginger read a lot and went to the cinema.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Purple Pigeon » 14 Dec 2015, 09:48

He could also have gone for the Airman badge in the Scouts!
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Tracer » 14 Dec 2015, 10:01

Most homes would have had a wireless set then.

Re: the assembling of guns blindfolded - I read a lovely tale of a chap whose father had taught him to do this as a young lad. Upon the exercise coming up in Army training, he was called forward during the lesson, blindfolded and told to take his gun apart. He did this, and, still blindfolded, felt a shadow fall over him, and heard someone in the ranks snigger. When told to re-assemble his gun, he found that some pieces had been moved, but because of his Dad's training, he relocated and fitted them with ease.

He completed the exercise faster than it had ever been done before, and as he said, inadvertently "made a powerful enemy" of the training officer.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Foolscap » 12 Jul 2017, 20:59

With thanks to Frecks for checking if this made sense:-)

Dust

Small particles of dust ingrained
In clothing, skin and hair;
An accidental souvenir;
A thin, persistent layer.
Some blows away on country lanes,
Or clings to leaf and stone;
As one determined traveller
Treks on; head high; alone.
Some settles onto farmer's fields
Where light footsteps have been;
A young resourceful scavenger
Who gathers food, unseen.
And more inside a railway hut,
A shelter for the night;
And smudges on the tracks close by
Where nimble feet take flight.
A further tiny trace upon
A taxi's leather seat,
And also near a runway
Where two lifelong friends first meet.
Some swirls around a cockpit:
Rescue mission; urgent haste.
A lot of what remains is left
In ragged clothes; now waste.
A microscopic fleck is mixed
With toolshed straw and soot;
Disturbed in struggles...life or death;
And trampled underfoot.
The trees and bushes takes a share,
Brushed off at frantic pace,
As loyal comrades claim their own,
And enemies give chase...
~0~
An autumn day, an aerodrome
In sunshine, bright and clear.
The last few specks of coal dust
Catch the breeze, and disappear.
~0~
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Fairblue » 12 Jul 2017, 21:18

Yet another little gem, Foolscap. And spot on, as usual. Thank you.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Spitfire666 » 12 Jul 2017, 22:23

Oh wow and wow, this is simply brilliant, Foolscap. :salute:
If there's one thing certain in this uncertain world it is that Algy won't go home without us.

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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 12 Jul 2017, 23:25

Fairblue wrote:Yet another little gem, Foolscap. And spot on, as usual. Thank you.

Spitfire wrote:Oh wow and wow, this is simply brilliant, Foolscap.

And I echo both the above.

:salute: :salute: :salute:
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Tracer » 13 Jul 2017, 08:42

That final stanza fair prickles the hair. Once again - superb!
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Frecks » 13 Jul 2017, 10:56

I love this poem. It is extra special to me as it spans my two models - Ginger's childhood home and the Mount Street flat in the 1930s when Ginger first joined Biggles & Algy.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 13 Jul 2017, 11:17

Tracer wrote:That final stanza fair prickles the hair. Once again - superb!


Ditto! That final stanza made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up...absolutely bally vertical in fact, lol. :thumbsup2:
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby kylie_koyote » 13 Jul 2017, 11:21

Tracer wrote:That final stanza fair prickles the hair. Once again - superb!


I concur and add my admiration and thanks, FC.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Foolscap » 28 Apr 2018, 20:15

On a similar line...

A rough, often difficult childhood;
The rod seldom spared.
A lad holding dreams for the future,
Though no one else cared.
A mother he could not remember;
A father bereft,
Bowed down by long years at the coal face;
No trace of hope left.
A bleak and predictable pathway
From schoolroom to mine;
Where any bright spark of ambition
Would struggle to shine.
A strong, irrepressible spirit;
Displacing despair.
A fiery and bold disposition
To match his red hair.
A choice, a life-changing decision
No longer denied.
A final, intense confrontation;
A father defied.
~0~
The sky stretching endless above him;
The world opened wide.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Frecks » 29 Apr 2018, 08:08

That is brilliant Foolscap - so evocative and moving.
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Tracer » 29 Apr 2018, 08:58

And those last two lines especially.
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby 266 » 29 Apr 2018, 09:06

Spot on. I love it.
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Biggles: "If we do, the pleasure will be all yours."
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Re: Ginger leaving home

Postby Foolscap » 29 Apr 2018, 10:36

Thank you very much:-)
I think Ginger did well to hold on to his hope of a different future
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.
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