© The Daily Express
Vol.6 - No.1
President: Sydney Jordan
Editor and Designer: William Rudling
THE BOOK OF THE WORLD
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TIME IS OUT OF JOINT
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It is Boxing Day night, 1937, and my sister and I are waiting excitedly for Dad to set up the sixteen millimetre projector to bring us our very own Christmas Special. Along with our favourites, Mickey Mouse, Felix The Cat and of course Laurel and Hardy, Mack Sennet and Chaplin, there is a documentary, hired for my benefit, in recognition of my growing interest in aeroplanes...
There on the bed-sheet screen are the silent, flickering sepia images of the Schneider Trophy air races of a few years before. The racing seaplanes of a handful of countries competing for this prestigious prize, had advanced the development of a monoplane aircraft so successfully that in 1931 R.J. Mitchell's Supermarine S6B won the trophy outright for Britain at a speed of 379 mph and two weeks later flew at 407.5 mph - a staggering achievement in an era still dominated by the biplane. Oh, the magic of the subtitles: 'Atcherley taxying', 'Waghorn rounds the final pylon to win the Trophy', 'Stainforth breaks the 400 mph mark'. They avere the RAF pilots who avere household names at the time as they flew Britain to victory in an aeroplane of outstanding beauty both visually and as an engineering masterpiece, with its fuselage, fin and rudder all an augury of the supreme fighter to which fit would give birth - the immortal Spitfire!
I was reminded of this the other day when driving past Southampton Eastleigh Airport, once the site of Vickers Supermarine whose team, headed by the legendary Mitchell, sent the prototype Spitfire into the air from the grass(!) of Eastleigh for the first time on March 6th 1936 - exactly 74 years before...
I could not know that night in our wee Dundee sitting room that I was destined to have more than a nodding acquaintance with the aviation world and that I would be in a position to celebrate the ever advancing development of aviation and space flight. Nor could I have foreseen that the 'despotic, unreasonable, discourteous' Lord Beaverbrook who was shrewdly appointed Minister for aircraft production by Churchill (and who, despite the back-biting of the old guard, increased Spitfire production to previously unimagined heights) would one day give me a roasting for even hinting at world government in an early episode of Jeff Hawke!
«Are you going to publish the Lance McLane Jeff Hawke strips?» This is question club members often ask Sydney or myself.
The answer is yes!
The news of Antarctica shedding a section of itself the size of Luxembourg is so relevant to the Lance McLane Jeff Hawke strips, published over thirty years ago!
Due to the sequential plots, they'll be published in order starting with the six Earthspace stories and continuing through to Song of Methuselah.
The success of the Jeff Hawke Club Weekends has encouraged us to plan the next one. This one will be based in the Midlands. Club member, Jeff Morgan has chosen The National Motor Museum as the main attraction. He says he can't promise the Anti-Gravity Mini, but there are equally fascinating exhibits to wonder at. The dates or accommodation are not finalised yet. It will certainly take place in late September or early October.
I owe Sandra Voss, Science Director of the Hertsmonceux Observatory, an apology for not giving her the credit she deserves in supplying the technical information for the last issue of Jeff Hawke's Cosmos.
Turn to page 33 to read the history and the work carried out by the Herstmonceux Observatory.
Mike Allwood, the producer of the U.K.'s leading Comic Comic Expo, Bristol International Comic Expo 2010, has invited Sydney Jordan and the Jeff Hawke Club to exhibit at the event on 22nd and 23rd May. Sydney will be one of the special guests under the collective title of U.K. Legends, along th John Burns, and Mike Noble.
Sydney, Chalcedon and I are looking forward to seeing club members at the Ramada Bristol City Hotel. You'll be able to meet us at the Signing Room.