28. Nov, 2018

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Speaking of Rick Stein, the next stop on our abridged tour was Padstow, where he has numerous businesses. We were just interest in one – his fish and chip shop. We were both surprised how small Padstow was. Never mind, it was pleasant enough and the fish & chips were very nice.

The cunning plan was to have spent the night in the car park at Padstow as you can buy 24 hour parking tickets. However on closer inspection of the signage at the P&D machine I spotted that it didn’t apply to motorhomes, they have to be gone by 23:00. Plan B was to drive to our next planned destination – Port Isaac further north along the coast and the location of Porthwen the village under the tender loving care of TV’s ‘Doc Martin’. By then it was dark, it was raining heavily, and the country roads narrow and twisting. After I’d had to back up to let a lorry coming from the other direction pass I gave up – sod Doc Martin.

As I recall we spent the night in a small layby at a filling station, and the following morning headed off to Yeovilton in Somerset where I was to treat myself to a couple of museum days. The first was to the Fleet Air Arm Museum https://www.fleetairarm.com a place I’d been meaning to visit for many years.

For me it was all very interesting and I was able to explain to The Chef how it all came together onboard aircraft carriers, in the days when we had a Navy, rather than a glorified fishery protection fleet. What was quite interesting was in one of the hangers there was a mock up of a flight deck at night with aircraft launch and recovery taking place.

In the past I’ve spent many a night out of flight decks launching weather balloons, doing weather observations and on very wet and windy days standing out on the flight deck, which I had all to myself, holding an anemometer taking wind speed readings at various points on the deck, because on one of the carriers I served on, the Captain of the Flight Deck would demand that it be done, often, probably because he didn’t particularly like us weather men. I think he felt we had it easy compared to his team of roughy, toughy, Aircraft Handler’s, and did it just to be bloody spiteful. Nevertheless they were happy days.