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was some ten foot long using Balsa wood frames with cane strips the whole frame was first covered with cling film type of plastic which was then covered with silk and doped. To seal it. When filled with Hydrogen it produced enough lift to allow the ship to float on air with 4 small electric motors driving propellers.

Unfortunately it did not have sufficient lift for the batteries but these I had in a carrier with light flexible wire cable to the ship in a way this helped for with the airship tethered in this was it could not sail off into the blue!!

At this time Anne was only two years old and Trampolines were very popular so we decided to try our hand making one using heavy Elastic rope. It was a great success the children played every day with their friends bouncing to great heights. The children had their friends over and they would stay all day and every day on the Trampoline With six of them lying and sitting in the middle the canvas would be stretched to itís limit. Pamela and I enjoyed sunny afternoons watching our kids singing and laughing exhausted from bouncing and nearly touching the ground beneath the canvas.

At this time I was learning how to fly at Burnaston Flying club using Chipmunk monoplanes. When I got my PPL I joined a group of six to purchase an Auster J4

Flying out of Tolerton near Nottingham Being at the airport I was able to get hold of Reject aircraft parts and using these I built a half full size Monoplane for our son John. It was fitted up with a B.S.A. twin cylinder motor cycle engine driving a three foot wooden prop

All the controls were connected and worked, John was able to taxi the plane round the garden. If he opened up down the slope of the lawn and gave the machine full rudder at the bottom the outer wing would create enough lift for the wheel to leave the ground in this tight circle. I had scaled the plane but this did not give good headroom for John who was growing fast and I had to modify the fuselage cutting a hole in the top for Johnís head. All the kids enjoyed taxing this special toy it could be quite dangerous and John often cut down some of the garden flowers with the prop.

John however grew to tall to get in the plane so we decided to make him a space ship. At the time Dr who was on the television and John and his friends were keen listeners. I made the space ship to hold 3 or 4 at a squeeze It had many altimeters airspeed indicators etc to fit it out and John wired up a small sound tape recorder to supply Dr Who music and noises as background. John spends many happy hours with his friends in this spacecraft.

Clare was keen to have a go carting so I bought an old 200cc.broken down model and set to work rebuilding it adding a few modifications. We found the exhaust was a very noisy so fitted double exhaust silencer. The engine was rather big for a twelve-year-old so added an additional reduction gearbox was added. All the children including Anne (In Clareís arms raced round the open fields at the end of our road.

When we moved to Camberley my job did not give me much free time to build toys. The children John and Clare were soon to finish school and were not interested in toys.

Time passes so fast and before we knew it we had grandchildren to consider. Alex and Justin were the first and I built for them a Bakers Van driven by a Sinclair 12 volt motor This was very popular for the kids could sit in the back while being driven about by the driver. As our grand children arrived it was time to build a new Wendy house.

 

 

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