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BluBear

Piece of Cake - 30 years ago

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Great little article here chaps:

WHEN PIECE OF CAKE CAME TO HEADCORN – 30 YEARS ON
https://warbirdtails.net/2018/03/17/when-piece-of-cake-came-to-headcorn-30-years-on/

One of my all time favourite aviation film/series. Been meaning to give it another watch, it's been a while. I used to have it on repeat as a lad, wearing out PapaBear's VHS recording from the original showing on ITV.
Also, I've lived down the road from Headcorn most of my life and never realised it was used as a base for filming; you learn something new every day!
 

I urge anyone with a passing interest in the Phoney War, Spitfires (one famously under a bridge piloted by Ray Hanna) and jolly good banter to watch this, also read Derek Robinson's book, it's brilliant.

Whilst you're at it, read Paul Richey's Fighter Pilot, which must have heavily influenced Robinson's work.

 

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Coldn't agree more. I read the book first, (which I bought with my own money at Duxford). One of the funniest book I've read. If, one can appreciate Brittisch humor and banter, of course :)

Then I bought the series but didn't watch it until we visited Painalot's place in Waterlowille.

Then I got Fighter Pilot from Mr Friar him self. Also a darn good read. Yes, I can imagine how Derek got the story for his book. Maybe.

 

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Just now, Sweper said:

Coldn't agree more. I read the book first, (which I bought with my own money at Duxford). One of the funniest book I've read. If, one can appreciate Brittisch humor and banter, of course :)

Then I bought the series but didn't watch it until we visited Painalot's place in Waterlowille.

Then I got Fighter Pilot from Mr Friar him self. Also a darn good read. Yes, I can imagine how Derek got the story for his book. Maybe.

 

I'd heartily recommend reading Robinson's other period aviation novels.
Damned Good Show (Bomber Command) and Goshawk Squadron (Great War) are the two others I have which are also fantastic reads.
Most of them have some kind of link, with familiar names appearing as they progress through their RAF career. Skull Skelton for example is the main protagonist in Damned Good Show.

I really need to pick up 'A Good Clean Fight' which continues the story of Hornet Squadron, set in North Africa in the spring of 1942 flying Tomahawks.

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Funny you should say that. I just finished A Good Clean Fight a few weeks back.

Pop quiz: your engine is running so rough that you can't read the compass at all to tell what direction is home. Do you:

1. climb till the engine quits and glide home with a stable compass

2. look at the sun and guess at a heading home

3. immediately bail out near the German base you just finished shooting up

I can forgive some things in the interest of a good story but doesn't the Tomahawk have a US style compass that stays stable unlike the early navy compass the Hurri and Spit have?

 

Oh it gets better.... the Germans send out a motorcycle and side car to check out the crash site visible by a huge smoke column and find the pilot walking. They can't seem to figure out the way back to their own base they just left !!! so they get the British pilot to navigate back to base for them.. (he's a pilot right... so obviously he knows how to read a compass.. I guess the German compass needs a decoder ring or an enigma machine).. they notice nothing as he takes them miles and miles and miles back to the British base.......

 

The entire book on audio is 21 hrs. I got more out of the 4 hrs of Fighter Pilot.

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Good points perf :) I gotta read that book.

I have read Goshawk Squadron which was a good read but not nearly as good as Piece of cake. And, a lot shorter story by the way.

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