Gaunt, Director of the scale model manufacturer and supplier 'Aircraft
In Miniature Limited' here in the UK wrote to SEAWINGS recently
regarding the Short Sandringham and his opportunity of taking a
flight in one back in August 1976.
Neil wrote: "We
came to Britain from Rhodesia in 1976, and when I picked up my
August copy of Aeroplane Monthly there was a small advert in the
back saying 'fly in a Sunderland'. I phoned and booked two tickets
at £15.00 each and the tickets arrived the next day. Anyway Marion
(my wife) and I drove down to Poole Bay, Dorset overnight (we
stopped and slept in the car in an unfinished service area on the M3
motorway on the way down), and were parked near the beach next
morning. While Marion was cooking breakfast on our trust 'Gaz'
camping stove, we heard a rumble in the sky and the Antilles Air
Boats Sandringham landed.
They set up a table on the beach, and there was a dinghy to take the
passengers to a launch, which in turn took you out to the
Sandringham. When we boarded, we were greeted by Charles Blair,
who was married to the actress Maureen O'Hara. He told us that they
had a holiday home in Ireland, and that they had decided to fly over
in the Sandringham and had got permission from the CAA to do three
joyrides from Poole Bay.
We had about an hour to explore the aircraft, then we took off, flew
down the Solent and over the Isle of Wight - flight time was 53
minutes airborne, then we landed, back to the beach and home. The
best £30 we ever spent!"
can you imagine doing that today?! Wow, what a treat and with
Charles Blair as the Captain.....absolutely awesome! Neil and Marion
were oh, so lucky and he has sent in the pictures below taken during
their flight. My grateful thanks goes to Neil for thinking of us and
if you want to see the model kits that Neil's company offers, click here
to go to their website and enjoy a feast of multi-media aircraft kits.