October 18th 2012: Aviation Heritage in the Cotswolds by Graham Pitchfork

Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork gave a fascinating talk to a packed audience on the connections that the Cotswold district has had with aviation starting with the very early days of ballooning in the 1780s up to the testing of Concorde in the 1970s. He spoke about Royal Flying Corps airfields of the First World War, such as Rendomb and Leighterton, and the Royal Air Force airfields of the Second World War, such as Broadwell and Fairford. He also mentioned the county’s connection with the aviation industry, especially the ‘local’ firm of Gloster which made Britain’s first jet aircraft among many other types. The speaker focussed very much on the human side of aeronautical history as he spoke about some of the famous and less well known individuals who have played a part in the Cotswold’s aviation heritage.