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Close Encounters — 20 Comments

  1. The year prior to that, my own herself and I spent the night in a hotel called “Heathrow” that’s right in the place you describe. They had planes taking off and landing there too, so it was somewhat like an airport. The “bed” was a row of plastic seats, so I hope it’s a better airport than a hotel.

    Back in ’86.. which are more than a few years prior to that.. I was with some friends waiting for a flight to the colonies here when some soldiers came and pulled us out of line and asked us a lot of silly questions. We were very polite and did not lie to them or smart off at all, because they had really big guns and we didn’t have any.

    I really don’t care for Heathrow.

  2. I really don’t care for Heathrow.

    Yes. I can’t exactly see it as my ideal place to retire to.

  3. What would have happened? Well, for one thing, there wouldn’t be a certain delightful romp of a blog called Head Rambles, maintained by a certain irascible Irish rogue.

  4. Good grief! That was a close call alright. I love Heathrow. Organised chaos of the highest order.

    I was over there recently and they have all these plasma TVs tuned to BBC News 24 where everyone was milling around watching people on TV sifting through the wreckage of a crashed 737 in Greece I think.

    Really does ones confidence wonders when about to board a flight home.

  5. Close is not the word! Another two inches……

    And they show those programmes to cut down on airport congestion.

  6. Ahhh Heathrow, gone are the days when they used to segregate all Irish people and send them through their own security check. I really miss feeling special. When asked for my passport I used to draw it from my inside pocket like a pistol to see if I could provoke a reaction.

  7. Great story that Grandad – beats mine hands down.

    I was staying on Bath Rd. too – depressing, soul destroying place.

    Called a number of hotels along that stretch home at one point or another.

    In most of them you can look out the window of your hotel room and read the name tags of the cabin crew in the planes as they are landing.

  8. B3n – Were those the days when the Irish passengers were shepherded onto an old Douglas Dakota?

    BA – Bath Road was very strange. My memory is of nothing but hotels and a McDonalds [f*cking things turn up everywhere].
    My lasting memory was walking East at dusk and seeing this long straight line of very bright lights in the sky. It was the line of aircraft all following one another down to the runway like steps on an escalator.

  9. Ah! But you know what a Douglas Dakota is, so you’re not that young either. Unless you’re a plane spotter?

  10. DC-3 or C-47?

    Brilliant story about Aer Lingus’ first flight to Bristol. The plane ‘Iolar’, a DeHavilland DH-84 (I think), was their first aircraft. The skin of the plane was not metal but a fabric that had been doped (look up wikipedia for that one).

    Anyway among the first passengers was a greyhound. As the plane was landing someone spotted the dog’s head sticking out the side of the fuselage. He managed to get his head out of the crate and chewed his way through the fabric.

    Kind of like nowadays when you are driving and you see a dogs head sticking out of the window of the opposing car.

  11. DC-3. We used to drive up to the airport sometimes to watch the planes. That was in the old days of the original building – outside balconies all over the place [and damn cold and windy!!]. I remember the old DC-3s well.

    Now I’m showing my age again!!

  12. Grandad we used to walk out there on a Sunday afternoon, walk up onto the roof to watch the planes coming and going, then back home in time for tea.

  13. I worked contract for Aer Lingus for a while. They still have the Iolar in a hangar over by the tower. I’ve been in the plane. It still flies. That’s proper ‘fly by wire’, the control cables for the ailerons run along the outside of the plane, no hydraulics.

  14. Jaysus Grandad! that was a very – and I stress very – close call!

    Hmm…It reminds me of the time I was at a local convention centre for a car show. I made a wrong turn and ended up in another wing of the hall, which was occupied by New Black Panther Party advocates. They were peaceable, mind you, but if they would have known my name, they would have most certainly burned me at the stake. 🙂

  15. Two ducks from Norn Iron are flying over Heathrow.
    One of them turns to the other and says “quack! quack!”
    The other says “I’m sarry, I cannae go any quacker!”

    *cymbal crash* 😀

  16. A favourite army check point joke…

    What did St Patrick say as he was driving the snakes out of Ireland?

    Quick lads down..Brits ahead.

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