Driving with Google Earth…

I’ve developed a habit, one that Cb (the much beloved spouse) says that ruins the fun of discovery when traveling.   If I’m going somewhere specific, particularly in another country – in this case Merry Olde England, I’ll drive various routes on Google Earth or Google Maps (one and the same?).   Since I paint and we both do some photography, I like having a heads-up that there might be a “view” to capture on the way.  Likely much more than that, is my liking for knowing where I am on the face of the earth.   Plus, you get to live your trip self-vicariously by driving around on GMaps…particularly if you take time to use the zoom feature and notice the details – you never know where it might lead you or what you might learn……

So there I was, driving, by clicking on the road ahead, down Batchpool Ln, outside of Wincanton, Somerset England, and after Batchpool became Duck Ln, it entered the village of Horsington.   A metropolis, it ain’t – 2011 population was 571, but no worries, we’re not going back to the U.K. to spend much, or any time in metropolis, but would much rather ram around in the countryside.  When Duck Ln dead ends into Higher Ground Rd., or the A 357, I click left and head south….one or two clicks down the road, and using the zoom button, I spy this :-100 yrs of naval aviation


So, cool.   I pictured a nice old chap, a history buff perhaps, sitting in his home in Horsington, perhaps overlooking Horsington Marsh on the Blackmore Vale.  As an aside, another reason to travel in the U.K. is that everything just sounds quaint, scenic and cool!   At any rate, I Googled good old Graham and Vee-O-Lah!, he’s not just someone that wanted to jot down some thoughts on a subject, but was the Secretary of the Fleet Air Arm Museum.  Being a Secretary, in the U.K. is not taking notes for someone else, it’s being the boss, El Jefe, even, dare I say it, ‘Is Lordship.

graham mottram Graham Mottram at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

The Fleet Air Arm Museum, btw, is dedicated primarily to aircraft and operations attached to the Royal Navy, not the RAF.  So Mr. Mottram, as a Director, is perhaps uniquely qualified to write about the subject.    If you’d like a taste of Graham’s views and the way he expresses himself, you can listen in to his BBC interview, here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0240pcw.   There’s a fascinating discussion, well, a mildly interesting talk about, erm, a stultifying boring rattle about removing 1964 paint from a 1947 aircraft to be heard there.   (Joke-  the 20″ interview is sure to be interesting to aircraft aficionados.)

If you find yourself in Somerset, and you’re an aircraft buff, you’ll probably want to visit the Fleet Air Arm Museum.  My Dad helped build the Wright Patterson Air Force Museum in Fairborn, Ohio, so I’ve an environmental predisposition to the places..and will probably visit while I’m over there during a soon upcoming trip….in the meantime, I can drive there and everywhere else on Google earth…..in the meantime, a couple of other things seen as one drives along and a later post on why so many places in England end in “ington”

Seen just outside of Aviheadington                      Seen in downtown Arseington

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