Archive of the 2012 Meetings Programme

19th December, 2012



'Annual Photographic Competition - projected and prints'

Both the 'projected' and 'print' competitions will be held this evening. Our guest judge for the competition will be the very respected photographic judge Gordon Bartley ARPS.

Further information is available by visiting the 'Annual Photographic Competitions' web-page.


5th December, 2012

'From Manchester to Sandford with Thomas Cook Airlines', by Mike Newell

Mike Newall is an A330 captain with Thomas Cook Airlines and tonight his presentation will take us on a flight from Manchester Airport to Sandford in Florida.

Mike was born in Leeds and grew up in the 60's with aeroplanes on the brain. His brother was in the Royal Air Force and he just caught the bug. A gliding holiday aged fifteen and parachuting at Leeds (Yeadon) kept his interest going until he was fortunate to obtain a Flying Scholarship, with the Air Force. Mike obtained his PPL aged just seventeen.

Following a career away from flying, the airline industry was on the upswing, Capital Airlines were recruiting and he joined them until their demise. Following a brief break from flying, Mike joined IEA, Airtours, My Travel and Thomas Cook.

Mike has asked if members would like to submit any questions to him in advance of the meeting and he will build them into the show linking them to particular events.

Please let the Programme Secretary have your questions as soon as possible.


21st November, 2012


'2012 - A year in pictures'

It is time again for Chris Berry's Photographic Review of Aviation Events in 2012. 

Chris covers Society Visits, and various events including Airshows at Fairford, Farnborough and Waddington, Olympic Visitors (including a look at the military involvement and governmental visitors) , Manchester visitors and finally, a personal image tribute to the soon to be decommissioned aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise - the worlds first nuclear carrier.


7th November, 2012


'The A380 Airbus', by Dr. Thurai Rahulan

Dr. Thurai Rahulan has recently joined the Society - his day job is as a lecturer at Salford University and this evening will give us an academics view of the A380.


17th October, 2012

'30 Years of Aviation Photography', by Michael Blank

We welcome back to the Society Michael Blank, a well travelled enthusiast and excellent photographer. This evening will cover the first 30 years of his enthusiasm, starting with early visits to Manchester Airport.


3rd October, 2012


'Here and There', by Martin Powell

Programme Secretary Martin Powell and his wife like to travel and tonight he will show a selection of images from their recent travels.  At the time of writing the content of the evening's show is still fluid but will include visits to aviation museums in Belgium, Germany, Malta and Singapore.

19th September, 2012


'Russian Air Force Birthday Party', by Jim Newton

Jim Newton visited Moscow in August where he enjoyed the Centenary Celebrations of the Russian Air Force and visited a few other places as well.  The Centenary show was 9½ hours long, so we could have a late finish!


5th September, 2012


'The beginnings of Eurofighter', by Leon Skorczweski

Leon Skorczewski joined British Aerospace at Warton in 1968 after 9 years service with the Royal Air Force. 

Initially he taught Lightning Integrated Weapons Systems and then move onto a variety of roles in the Jaguar programme.  After further positions he became Chief Engineer for Avionics and Cockpit Systems for the Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP) Technology Demonstrator Aircraft which flew in 1986. 

Leon moved on to the Business Directorate in 1990 holding various positions eventually being appointed Director Product Development and Strategy – Eurofighter in April 2000. 

Leon retired from BAE Systems in December 2002.  During his career Leon was heavily involved in training and the development of training programmes.  He developed a 3 hour lecture on the history of Eurofighter for young engineers and he will share the first part of this with us tonight.


15th August, 2012

'Annual Recognition Contest'; compiled by last year's winner, Martin Powell

'Nineties Images'; by Chris Wood

We start this evening's meeting with the 2012 Annual Recognition Competition - 30 images to test your skill - according to your compiler it's an easy contest this year!  After the break Chris Wood will show a selection of slides from the 1990s - mainly airliners but with a selection from Fairford and Woodford and a few buses and trains to add variety.


1st August, 2012


'The Royal Flying Corps, Naval Wing (Royal Naval Air Service) 1912 - 1918; by Professor Eric Grove

Tonight we welcome back Eric Grove, Professor of Naval History at the University of Salford.  His subject is the history of the Royal Flying Corps, Naval Wing, from 1912 to 1918 and he will cover the political and military development of the Service.  Eric may also offer a few thoughts on current Naval Aviation matters!

18th July, 2012

'Going digital - Photoshop not included'; by Colin Duckworth

Member Colin Duckworth shows a selection of his images demonstrating the ways in which the advent of digital photography has influenced the work of the aviation photographer.


4th July, 2012


'Cold war Nimrod operations'; by Drew Steel MBE

Tonight we welcome Drew Steel back to the Society.  After graduating from Edinburgh University in 1980 Drew joined the Royal Air Force as an Air Electronics Operator and after initial training joined 201 Squadron at Kinloss as a Nimrod Radar Operator.  Drew was subsequently commissioned as an Air Electronics Officer and served further tours on Nimrods.  In 1989 he began a ground tour as a Senior Air Operations Controller and also undertook the role of Special Forces Liaison Officer, serving in Operation Granby.

He was subsequently appointed as crew captain with 201 Squadron and became the Squadron's Tactical Liaison Officer.  In 1996 he joined the RAF element of the Nimrod 2000 Joint Trials Team.  The team relocated to Warton and in 1988 Drew was promoted to Squadron Leader and took over the leadership of the team.  In 2007 Drew was awarded the MBE in the New Year's Honours list and in August retired from the Royal Air Force.  Drew then joined BAE SYSTEMS as a Military Liaison Executive in the Business Development Team.


20th June, 2012


'Airshows, Engines and an Aircraft Carrier', by Paul Henshaw and

'South-East USA 2012', by Keith Dixon

Tonight we present selections of images from two of our members.  First up is Paul Henshaw whose subjects will include various airshows in the U.K., the Avro Vulcan, and a little bit on the art of Photoshop to show us how he wins all those trophies in the Photo Competition!  After the break Keith Dixon will take over with a selection of images from his recent visit to the United States, including base visits to the U.S. Navy at Patuxent River and Pensacola.


6th June, 2012


'Fast Jet Pilot', by Steve Long

Tonight's guest is Steve Long, a test pilot with BAE Systems at Warton, currently flying the Typhoon.

Steve joined the Royal Air Force in 1995 and flew the Harrier on operations over Sierra Leone and Bosnia.  Then followed an exchange posting with the United States Marine Corps flying the AV-8B+ over Iraq. In 2005 he attended the United States Navy's Test Pilots School at Patuxent River.  Returning to the UK he went to Boscombe Down where he did pre-service entry flying on the Harrier GR.9.  A return to Patuxent River followed where he flew the F-35B and also the F/A-18 on chase duties.  In March 2011 he left the RAF to join BAE Systems.


16th May, 2012


'Spared by 5 seconds', by Ian Ferguson

Tonight we welcome Ian Ferguson, Pastor of the Blackburn Community Church, who will tell us about an earlier period of his life when he flew fast jets for the Royal Air Force.  His career had some interesting moments including 5 engine failures, 3 air misses and the record for the lowest and fastest survivable ejection!  It promises to be an interesting evening.


2nd May, 2012

'Wings over Warton', by Neville Beckett

A unique and profusely illustrated personal view by Neville Beckett of flying at British Aerospace/ BAE SYSTEMS, Warton, embracing both company flight trials, production aircraft and visiting types, since the earliest days of Eurofighter in the mid nineties.  This ‘picture story’ is based essentially on personal images, mostly taken ‘over the fence,’ but also including material from special events, enabling programme milestones and other relevant background to be included.

This newly prepared and up to date talk by Neville, who spent his career in aerospace as a professional engineer, was well received when first delivered at Warton earlier this year.


18th April, 2012


'Royal Navy Presentation Team', lead by Commander Simon Staley

Tonight we welcome Commander Simon Staley and the Royal Navy Presentation Team who will tell us of the present and future role of the Royal Navy.  The first part of the evening will consist of a fast moving audio-visual presentation  to be followed by a question and answer session and an opportunity to meet the team.

If you would like to bring a group (for example Sea Cadets) to the presentation, please write to the Societies presentation coordinator

4th April, 2012


'Enthusiastic OAP's first visit to EAA Oshkosh', by John Wiseman

John is a well-travelled enthusiast who made his first visit to Oshkosh last year to the world’s largest gathering of aircraft.


21st March, 2012


'Airshows 2011', by Peter Hampson

Peter will be giving us a “behind the scenes” insight into the organisation of some of the “great” airshows of 2011. Peter’s talk will feature amongst others: Aero India 2011 at the Indian Air Force base of Yelahanka, the very last Airshow to be held at Dubai International Airport and what was described by most enthusiasts and press as “probably the best Airshow ever” – 100 years of the Turkish Air Force at the Cigli Air Base, Izmir.

Some great photography is promised including some shots taken during rather “unique” air to air sorties.


7th March, 2012


'Aviation Brain of Rossendale 2012', by Martin Powell

Our famous annual members quiz, compiled by last year's winner, Martin Powell

15th February, 2012

'Aviation Gizmos -Virtual Radar Products for the Aviation Enthusiast'

A triple header for you tonight with 3 members covering different aspects of our hobby.  First up is Chris Berry who will demonstrate and give a brief overview of the three very popular ‘real–time and virtual radar’ products that are available to the aviation enthusiast – Kintects SBS-1, Plane Plotter and Flight Radar 24.  Chris will be happy to take questions on the products he’s demonstrated and help advise, if applicable, which of the products would be best for you.

'Collecting Diecast Aviation Models'

Many members will know that Michael Clegg is the proprietor of 'Flying-Tigers' an online retailer of aviation diecast models - tonight he will tell us about the business and display some of his latest stock.  The Flying Tigers website is

Prize Winning Aviation Images

Finally, our new Chairman, Paul Henshaw, will show some of his recent images and perhaps show us how he achieved 2 out of 4 trophies in the recent Photographic Competitions along with several other placings and commendations.

1st February, 2012


'A Career in Aviation', by Ray Newall

Our scheduled guest for tonight was Captain Mike Newall of Thomas Cook Airlines but a change in rostering has prevented his visit until a later date.  Not wanting to let us down Mike 'volunteered' his brother Ray to visit us and tell us of his aviation career and I am sure that we are in for another excellent evening.

Ray Newall was born and brought up in Leeds and joined the Royal Air Force in November 1962, initially as an Operations Clerk (Air Traffic Assistant).  His first posting was to Nicosia where he successfully applied for a commission and to train as a pilot.  Training was on the Jet Provost and Varsity and then posted to Shackletons and then the Andover.  In 1973 he became an Air Traffic Control Officer and in 1982 left the RAF to become a civilian ATCO, returning to the RAF in 1986.  He subsequently spent 13 years as a Flight Checker, the last 4 years with  Flight Precision at Teesside. 

In 1972 he became a Civil QFI (Qualified Flying Instructor) and worked with the Popular Flying Association/Light Aircraft Association.  He has built and restored several aircraft and has owned Piper Super Cruiser G-BSYG and is currently building a Starlet.


18th January, 2012


'Fairey Aviation at Manchester - part two', by Alan Scholefield

Our regular guest, Alan Scholefield, returns this evening for part two of Fairey Aviation at Manchester Airport.

Alan presented part one of this evening in February 2011.

4th January, 2012

Annual General Meeting and Model (Aircraft) Competition

The AGM will take its usual form, with a pie and peas supper for all attendees. For further information (AGM), please contact the Society Secretary, Chris Eaton.

The model competition will be organised as in previous years. For information on the type and number of entries, and how to enter, please see the December Newsletter.



Archive of historical evenings and presentations


All Society meetings are held at Haslingden Cricket Club, starting at 20:00 hours. Please try to arrive by about 19:45 hours, so that you can visit the bar and help set-up the room. Meetings normally finish by about 22:30 hours.

(Updated 31-March-2017 )