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It's nice when the tourists go home

Hang up your Chisels and Plane blades and take a load off with a recently turned goblet of your favourite poison, in the lounge of our Gentlemen's (and ladies) Club.

It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Andyp » 12 Oct 2021, 17:11

and I get the beaches back to myself.

It may not overlook Devils Island but this is my corner of paradise

Looking west towards Ouistreham and Sword Beach
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Looking east towards Cabourg and Deauville with Le Havre in the distance on the north bank of the Seine Estuary.
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I get to stroll along those beaches twice a week all year round.
cheers

Andy

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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Malc2098 » 12 Oct 2021, 17:25

Well, yesterday, it would have been rude not to take missus down to the seaside for a spot of tea and cake while the weather was warm and the sea was calm.
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The Clock Tower Restaurant on top of Jacob's Ladder, Sidmouth.
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby RogerM » 14 Oct 2021, 15:55

Andyp wrote:and I get the beaches back to myself.

It may not overlook Devils Island but this is my corner of paradise

Looking west towards Ouistreham and Sword Beach

I get to stroll along those beaches twice a week all year round.


Very nice Andy. TBH, it was much the same in June about 5 years ago when SWMBO and I did a cycling tour of the D-Day beaches. As a glider pilot, I stood in disbelief on the landing field at Pegasus Bridge as I surveyed just how tight it was to land anything in, even if it was familiar and in broad daylight. How they got 3 overloaded gliders in there at night, having never seen it before, makes me shake my head in disbelief.

Much was made of how crowded Cornish beaches were this summer, and indeed the fleshpots of Newquay, St Ives and Padstow were, but this was our favourite Cornish beach, near Veryan, on the last weekend of July. Plenty of room for all.

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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby kirkpoore1 » 14 Oct 2021, 16:17

Nice, Andy. My father and I still plan on a Normandy trip once COVID settles down, maybe next September. I plan on being retired by then, which will make things more flexible. He really wants to do Omaha & Utah and the other major campaign sites, while I also want to throw in lots of medieval stuff.

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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Andyp » 14 Oct 2021, 16:39

kirkpoore1 wrote:Nice, Andy. My father and I still plan on a Normandy trip once COVID settles down, maybe next September. I plan on being retired by then, which will make things more flexible. He really wants to do Omaha & Utah and the other major campaign sites, while I also want to throw in lots of medieval stuff.

Kirk


If there is anything I can do to help Kirk you know where I am.

Plenty of castles around here, Caen and Falaise for example. Not so well known but a favourite of ours
https://www.chateaudecrevecoeur.com/en/ ... astle.html
cheers

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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Andyp » 14 Oct 2021, 17:30

RogerM,
I have the pleasure of crossing Pegasus Bridge every day and my daughter did a few weeks work experience in the museum there which got us a few free entries. I have also had the honour of meeting one or two of the D-Day veterans during the annual ceremonies each year. Sadly the ceremonies have taken place without the vets for the past two years. I can only guess if there will be any left to travel next year.
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Phil Pascoe » 14 Oct 2021, 17:46

RogerM wrote:
Andyp wrote:and I get the beaches back to myself.

It may not overlook Devils Island but this is my corner of paradise

Looking west towards Ouistreham and Sword Beach

I get to stroll along those beaches twice a week all year round.


Very nice Andy. TBH, it was much the same in June about 5 years ago when SWMBO and I did a cycling tour of the D-Day beaches. As a glider pilot, I stood in disbelief on the landing field at Pegasus Bridge as I surveyed just how tight it was to land anything in, even if it was familiar and in broad daylight. How they got 3 overloaded gliders in there at night, having never seen it before, makes me shake my head in disbelief.

Much was made of how crowded Cornish beaches were this summer, and indeed the fleshpots of Newquay, St Ives and Padstow were, but this was our favourite Cornish beach, near Veryan, on the last weekend of July. Plenty of room for all.

DSCF8151-1.jpg


That's only twenty miles from me but I've never been to that that part of the coast -it's such a pig to get to.
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Woodbloke » 14 Oct 2021, 18:02

RogerM wrote:Very nice Andy. TBH, it was much the same in June about 5 years ago when SWMBO and I did a cycling tour of the D-Day beaches. As a glider pilot, I stood in disbelief on the landing field at Pegasus Bridge as I surveyed just how tight it was to land anything in, even if it was familiar and in broad daylight. How they got 3 overloaded gliders in there at night, having never seen it before, makes me shake my head in disbelief.


We toured the Normandy beaches a few years ago and popped into see Andy P at the same time. You're quite right though Roger, the landing zone is extremely tight at the bridge and how the gliders got down was incredible. I recollect that the spot where each landed is marked by a concrete obelisk and my estimation is that the closet was no more that 40 or so metres from the bridge - Rob
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Blackswanwood » 14 Oct 2021, 23:39

You are indeed lucky having that coastline on your doorstep Andy.

If I remember correctly Lord Lovat and his commandos linked up with the airborne force that had taken Pegasus Bridge. Orders had been issued that Pipers were not to be used but Lovat told his personal Piper that as it was a order from the English War Office it didn’t apply to anybody who was Scottish.

The Piper marched up the beach playing his bagpipes without suffering a scratch in the face of heavy fire inspiring the troops under Lovat’s command to drive the defending forces back. The piper was subsequently known as the Mad Piper as captured Germans said they had not taken him out as it was bad luck to kill a mad man on the battlefield.

British eccentricity and bravery at its best!
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Woodbloke » 15 Oct 2021, 10:29

On our visit Pegasus Bridge, we bought a postcard from the Cafe Gondrée...

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...signed by the current owner, Arlette who was only a very small baby when the paras and commandos captured the bridge. It sit's on the wall just above the new 'pooter with this thread on screen - Rob
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby RogerM » 15 Oct 2021, 10:32

Woodbloke wrote:............ You're quite right though Roger, the landing zone is extremely tight at the bridge and how the gliders got down was incredible. I recollect that the spot where each landed is marked by a concrete obelisk and my estimation is that the closet was no more that 40 or so metres from the bridge - Rob


It was less than a single wingspan Rob. A few weeks later some visiting Russian generals accused the Brits of stage-managing the whole thing as they didn't believe that what they were seeing was possible.
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby RogerS » 15 Oct 2021, 11:04

Not in any way wishing to diminish their skill or bravery, you're comparing slipopery fibre-glass gliders if today with one specifically designed for the task...

The wing carried large "barn door" flaps which, when lowered, made a steep, high rate-of-descent landing possible—this performance would allow the pilots to land in constricted spaces.[25] By employing a combination of the flaps and pneumatic brakes, the glider could be brought to a stop within relatively short distances.[
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Woodbloke » 15 Oct 2021, 11:40

RogerM wrote:
Woodbloke wrote:............ You're quite right though Roger, the landing zone is extremely tight at the bridge and how the gliders got down was incredible. I recollect that the spot where each landed is marked by a concrete obelisk and my estimation is that the closet was no more that 40 or so metres from the bridge - Rob


It was less than a single wingspan Rob. A few weeks later some visiting Russian generals accused the Brits of stage-managing the whole thing as they didn't believe that what they were seeing was possible.


I wasn't too far out in my estimation Roger! - Rob

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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Andyp » 15 Oct 2021, 11:52

RogerS wrote:Not in any way wishing to diminish their skill or bravery, you're comparing slipopery fibre-glass gliders if today with one specifically designed for the task...

The wing carried large "barn door" flaps which, when lowered, made a steep, high rate-of-descent landing possible—this performance would allow the pilots to land in constricted spaces.[25] By employing a combination of the flaps and pneumatic brakes, the glider could be brought to a stop within relatively short distances.[


And don’t forget they were made for a one way journey, crash landing was the order of the day.

It is a great tribute to the history of that bridge ( and modern day tourism ) that when that bridge was eventually replaced the new one was just a scaled up replica. The original is now in the museum nearby.

It opens and closes several times a day and causes mile long traffic jams each time. Got caught in one this morning.
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Lurker » 15 Oct 2021, 12:10

My great uncle Jack invaded France on a steam roller!! :D
He was one of the later arrivals making good the captured areas.
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Andyp » 15 Oct 2021, 12:18

Interesting Lurker.
There must have been plenty for your great uncle to do.
I am told that the first roundabout in France outside of Paris was made by the Allies just outside Bayeux and that modern day central Caen is built on 2m of rubble left after the bombardment.
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby RogerM » 15 Oct 2021, 14:27

RogerS wrote:Not in any way wishing to diminish their skill or bravery, you're comparing slipopery fibre-glass gliders if today with one specifically designed for the task...

The wing carried large "barn door" flaps which, when lowered, made a steep, high rate-of-descent landing possible—this performance would allow the pilots to land in constricted spaces.[25] By employing a combination of the flaps and pneumatic brakes, the glider could be brought to a stop within relatively short distances.[


I partially agree Roger, although that is a double-edged sword! A typical glass ship will have an approach speed of around 60kts, with a stall speed of around 40kts, and with effective spoilers. The Horsa gliders used for Pegasus Bridge normally had an approach speed of around 75kts, and as you say, flaps like barn doors which gave it a "Space Shuttle" style of steep approach. I think I am right in saying that once deployed the flaps couldn't be raised. On the night of 6th June, they were already flying above their rated max all up weight, and in addition, various members of the assault force had smuggled on board extra kit "just in case" - including at least two additional buckets of grenades and extra ammunition. As a result, the gliders handled like absolute pigs and the lead pilot, "Jim Wallwork" said that he had a threshold speed of 95kts that night just to maintain control. However, the landing only had to be good enough to walk away from rather than having to worry about damage. My admiration for his judgement, skill and bravery is undiminished!
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Andyp » 15 Oct 2021, 15:26

This is what the bridge looks like today (just a couple of hours ago)

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the landing zone is on the other side of the canal behind those flag poles.

And one with Lord Lovat.
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All of the villages around here and across Normandy have lamp posts adorned with images of the men who fought locally, allies and French.
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby clogs » 15 Oct 2021, 16:31

where I lived in SW France,
our kids were told at school that the Brits and other allies did buxxer all in those times.....
glad I left.....

Crete had it's battles and troubles.....the locals are most humble about it all.....

they were sad times......
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby RogerM » 15 Oct 2021, 18:35

Nice photos Andy. This is my photo of the landing area in June 2017. I'm standing in the road at the start of the bridge, and my bike is parked against the stone marking the nearest glider. The group in the middle is standing around the second, and the far one is where the 3rd glider ended up. The trees in the background were not there in 1944, but not far behind them is a deep ditch which marked where the landing area started. In 1944 there were trees where the flagpoles now stand, but the edge of the grass on the left marks the start of the marshy area, so the landing area gets progressively narrower, and slopes significantly away from the canal on the right. This is a relatively wide angled shot and it makes the landing area look much larger than it actually is. At 95kts (109mph) it would run out pretty darn quickly.

Sorry Andy. We seem to have highjacked your thread!

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Pegasus Bridge landing area.
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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Andyp » 15 Oct 2021, 21:04

Not hijacked ar all Roger, :)
Pegasus bridge is also best when the tourists have gone home. Not sure that I am a local though :eusa-think:

Nice to see that you have some good panniers for your bike recognisable even from distance. Here is mine with daughter alongside.

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Re: It's nice when the tourists go home

Postby Woodbloke » 16 Oct 2021, 13:21

SWIMBO's Kenwood that she's had for the last 16 years:

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She wore out the original gel filled plastic saddle so we both treated ourselves to a pair of Brooks leather jobbies which are fantastic once 'run in'. We also each have a pair of Altura panniers. She uses the bike every day (and I mean every day, regardless of weather) for the ride to the hospital so from Wilton she's doing about 13 miles a day - Rob
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