Concorde & The Post Horn Gallop – Aerospace Bristol

In February with one or other of the many winter storms lashing the country (Ciara I think, they have names these days to make them seem more important) the four of us piled into Pip’s Nissan and headed for Filton airfield just north of Bristol . The Severn Bridge was closed due to the wind speeds so we had a 20 mile detour over the Second Severn Crossing and it was generally a pretty horrible day to be out.

Filton used to be a massive airfield, home of the Brabazon, Bristol Aircraft Co. and, most famously, where they made Concorde. Now it seems to be quickly disappearing under houses and retail parks. Aside from the control tower and hangers, it doesn’t look much like a wide open airfield now, sadly.

What’s left includes AEROSPACE BRISTOL a museum to commemorate all the past glories of the site and of the company(and it’s offspring) that once built some of the fastest and most advanced aircraft of all time. But we weren’t there to ‘do’ the museum. Youngest daughter Georgie plays cornet in Lydbrook Training Band, one of the numerous Brass Bands back home n the Forest of Dean and they were here, with several other bands and a few choirs as part of a concert to celebrate the history of the venue. And the concert was in the Concorde hall were “216” the last one to be built and the last one to fly, now resides. We, in the audience, sat beneath it’s elegant wings. It was quite a location! The big white bird is still the most stunning futuristic looking aircraft , even though the first one flew over 50 years ago.

Georgie played on THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES, THE DAMBUSTERS MARCH and 633 SQUARDON with a massed-bands-and-choirs finale written specially “Innovation 216” which was one of those… um…modern pieces where you keep waiting in vain for the tune to actually start… However what really hit home was a brilliant rendition of the POST HORN GALLOP (left) which wasn’t exactly ‘on theme’ but my late father used to play it every Christmas. He also played cornet in local bands from the mid 50s until the early 70s when shift work eventually got in the way of the band. Hearing it again live was a bit special. And Dad would have been proud of Georgie for being part of it.

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