Saturday, 18 May 2013


After a leisurely light breakfast we strolled up the footpath beside Tesco and over the pedestrian bridge crossing the railway lines into Rugby.  On the way I noticed the memorial to Sir Frank Whittle and stopped to take a photo.  To my surprise, Jan didn’t know who Frank Whittle was and why he was so notable.     Jan here…….somebody had to have fun and wind him up!

Here was me thinking everyone knew Sir Frank was the inventor of the turbo jet engine.  His first prototype was built in 1937.  The only thing that has puzzled me is, if Frank had invented the jet engine, how was it that the Nazi’s were the first to build and fly a jet aircraft?  Apparently Dr. Hans von Ohain was the designer of the first operational jet engine.  Poor Hans… who remembers him?

From what I’ve been able to read there’s no connection between Sir Frank Whittle and the town of Rugby.  He was born in Coventry and moved to nearby Leamington Spa with his family as a small boy.  He served in the RAF retiring as an Air Commodore and eventually migrated to the the USA in the mid 70’s where he died of lung cancer in 1996.  He is buried in Cranwell, UK which just happens to be the location of the Royal Air Force College Cranwell of which he was an alumni! 

He must have been a very determined individual as he was twice rejected on medical grounds by the RAF for an aircraft apprenticeship because he was only 5ft in height and of ‘weedy’ physic.  Frank then did a considerable amount of physical training adding 3 inches to his height and chest thereby gaining entry. Eventually he was accepted for officer training at Cranwell where he qualified as a pilot.  He later completed an engineering degree at Cambridge University. 

There was a market underway in the centre of rugby.  We’re still trying to get used to the concept of weekly town markets.  Apparently it’s a “farmers market” if selling local products and a “market” if the produce is from further afield.  Not sure if that is correct?  If so; then this was a market.  After wandering around Jan purchased some fruit from one of the stalls.

We know the strawberries are from Spain because we were able to read the label on the box they were in.  We’ve no idea where the apricots and plums were grown.  They have more taste than the fruit we normally purchase in Adelaide but are not as succulent as fruit locally grown.  It’s probably too early for good locally grown fruit!

Back at Waiouru I’ve been attempting to fix the picture on the small TV.  It’s pixelated and sometimes there’s no signal.  We have a picture on the main TV and the recorder so it’s not a problem with the aerial.  Always start with the simple things first!  I took the small TV off the wall in the bedroom and reconnected it to the aerial outlet in the saloon.  The TV produced a good picture.  So we either have a problem with the TV coxial cable to the wall socket or the short cable from the wall socket to the TV.  I then replaced the short cable between the TV and the wall socket.  Initially there was a good picture but it then reverted to being partially pixelated.  It’s possible the cable terminal at the wall socket has been damaged but before I start ripping the boat apart to get at the cabling we’ll leave everything until we can find a location that has a strong signal so I can confirm it’s a cable issue. 

The last job for the day was to visit Homebase and buy a tube of construction adhesive and a calking gun.  I’m not happy with my ceiling cavity seals between the mushroom vents and the chromed vent liners.  Jan thinks she saw some water dripping from one this morning.  I want any water (or condensation) forming in the mushroom vent to drip back into the boat rather than run into the ceiling cavity where it might start to cause rot.  Tomorrows job…. if it doesn’t rain!


Halfie said...

I expect the Germans remember von Ohain while we claim Whittle.

Re small TV: it might be worth checking the plugs on the leads, that both inner and outer are making good connections.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Tom
The Whittle connection is that he worked on his projects in Brownsover hall along the original canal route where the Yellow peril is moored.

Tom and Jan said...

Yes.... I'm going to have another attempt on the leads once we are in an area with excellent reception

Hi Les,
Well that makes sense! I couldn't find any connection between Frank and Rugby. I'm going to walk along the original Brownsover Canal Arm today!