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Notes and news — April 1997

Douglas DC3

Judging from the number of enquiries for the proposed Newcomen Society flight in a Douglas DC3 Dakota over London it looks as if it will be fairly easy to fill a whole plane.

The Douglas DC3 was the wide-bodied version of the earlier DC2 airliner which was intended for daytime flights across the USA. In the 1930s people expected bunks at night as in a Pullman car train so for long distance night-time flying the fatter DC3 type was developed with enough room to get the beds in. As passenger numbers continued to increase it was later found possible to fill a DC3 in daytime with just seats and so it came to be used in the form we are now familiar with.

Readers may be interested to know that the 'Good Ship Lollipop' in the popular song was not a ship at all but a Douglas DC2. The song was sung by Shirley Temple in the film Bright Eyes (Fox 1934) using a sliced-open interior mock-up with a painted panorama of clouds being moved slowly past the windows. In the mid 1930s flying was considered hazardous and being a valuable commodity Shirley Temple herself was forbidden from actually flying by her accident insurance policy (see chapter 7, Child Star, an autobiography, Shirley Temple Black, 1988).

According to Nevil Shute there was a serious proposal in the 1930s for Airspeed to manufacture the Douglas DC2 under licence in Britain but nothing came of it. (Before becoming famous as a writer Nevil Shute, full name Nevil Shute Norman, was an engineer. He worked on the R100 airship as a structural engineer under Barnes Wallis and later was a manager at Airspeed. See Nevil Shute, Slide Rule, the autobiography of an engineer, Heinemann 1954). Bob Carr

Not quite what it seems

On sale recently in the Co-Op at Epping was a 'Vale of Mowbray Pork Pie' (GLIAS Newsletter August 1995). On closer examination it appeared clear that this pie had little connection with the town of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. It was made by Vale of Mowbray Ltd, 5-6 Mowbray Terrace, Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, DL7 9BL. Tel: 01677 422661.

At first one wondered if the street had been deliberately named Mowbray Terrace so that the pies could lay claim to the name of Mowbray but on eating one of these pies the effect was quite pleasurable, even if the flavour was somewhat Northern and at the modest cost of 49p there was little to complain of. Vale of Mowbray market other pork products such as bacon and sausages and use a third party for distribution.

On passing through Leeming Bar (in the Vale of York) subsequently it was noted that Dalepak has a substantial works there. Dalepak are well-known for their Lamb Dalesteaks (or 'Lamburgers') so there is quite a meat processing industry in the town. (The all too brief visit to Leeming Bar was passing through on a National Express motor coach non-stop from Milton Keynes to Darlington so it was not possible to do any exploration).

From the 1950s the meat industry in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, diversified into pet foods (eg Kit-e-kat who are still there) so as to make use of parts of the meat unsuitable for human consumption and perhaps a similar trend may take place in Leeming Bar. One of the attractions of Leeming Bar must be its proximity to the A1 trunk road and its convenience for lorry transport. The very reasonable cost of the pork pie at Epping emphasises the cheapness of road distribution (GLIAS Newsletter June 1996; GLIAS Newsletter August 1996). The cheapest products often seem to travel the furthest. Bob Carr

Kirkaldy Testing Museum


Work on the Pavement Vaults


Titanic-type engine to be museum star


Three Mills gas


A history of public transport in the Twickenham area from 1800


Steam engines and sugar


New River notes


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© GLIAS, 1997