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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Sunday 28 August 2022

Jet Age Museum

We have been on what used to be pre-pandemic, an annual road trip to visit friends and family in England. This includes a few stops of interest, gardens for my wife and history for me. On the way down, we stopped at Ludlow with its very fine castle. 

Ludlow also has Dinham House, where Napoleon's brother Lucien stayed after being captured by the British on his way to the USA. He had fallen out with his big brother.

On the way back, we visited the Jet Age Museum in Gloucester, right next to the airport. This Museum opened its doors in August 2013 to house the Gloucestershire Aviation Collection. The Gloucester Aviation Company was taken over by Hawker before WW2 but continued to build aircraft under its own name. 

When the name Gloucester is mentioned, I think of the Gladiator, and they are building a replica based on recovered parts. However, before that, there was the Gamecock, which served in five fighter squadrons in the interwar years. It was also sold to Finland, where it survived to take on the Soviets in the Winter War. The museum has a lovely replica.

Then we have the Meteor, the first British jet fighter. The Meteor was a great export success for Gloster. Almost 4 000 examples were built,  serving 18 air forces. There were trainer and night fighter versions as well. And there are examples of these at the museum.

One Cold War fighter that had passed me by was the Gloucester Javelin. Britain's first delta-winged fighter was produced to take on Soviet bombers at high altitudes. Some 435 of these huge fighters were built.

In addition to the aircraft, there are engines, equipment and models, as well as information panels. The museum is open at weekends and is run by volunteers. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

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