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Random Stuff!!

TheLocalYokel

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Some of the airport forums on Forums4Airports have a Random Stuff!! thread so I thought that I'd start one for CWL.

Subjects don't necessarily have to relate to aviation or to CWL. In fact, most aviation matters affecting CWL already have their own various threads in the CWL forum. The subjects don't even have to relate to Wales. The Random Stuff!! threads recognise that not every poster reads all airport forums so those who read the CWL forums will now have the opportunity to post about anything that interests them.

I went slightly off topic recently in a CWL thread and started discussing the cruise boats in the Bristol Channel. This reminded me that we didn't have a Random Stuff!! thread in the CWL forum.

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I thought I'd kick off by talking about one or two things that are aviation based, as it happens, and do have a South Wales connection, albeit many years ago.

How many people are aware that Cardiff once featured one of the busiest air routes in the world?

In the 1930s there was a proliferation of airlines around the UK featuring such companies as Railway Air Services, Western Airways and British Air Navigation Ltd, all of which used Cardiff's Pengam Moors Municipal Airport in the south-east of the city at one time or the other in that decade.

Routes often linked a number of major British cities like a bus service.

The short hop across the Severn estuary between Pengam Moors and Weston-super-Mare, where part of the airport site is now the home of a helicopter museum, became so popular at one point in the summer of the mid 1930s that it was reportedly the busiest or one of the busiest air routes in the world, mainly I would imagine carrying leisure travellers.

The second record is one that South Wales would never have wanted.

On 12 March 1950 an Avro Tudor V aircraft, G-AKBY, Star Girl, owned by Airflight and operating as Fairflight with 78 passengers and five crew was returning to Wales from Dublin following an international rugby match. Its destination was the Llandow aerodrome at RAF Llandow 15 miles to the west of Cardiff.

The aircraft was seen to be very low on approach but the pilot increased power leading to the front of the aircraft climbing steeply. The flight crew was unable to prevent a stall and the Tudor V fell to the ground from a height of about 300 feet. Everyone was killed except three passengers, two of whom remarkably walked almost unscathed from the wreckage.

At the time this was the world's worst air disaster.

The Avro Tudor was a civilian version of the wartime Lincoln bomber, itself a very close relative of the immortal Lancaster, although in truth there doesn't seem too much in common superficially, with the tail section not at all like the Lancaster.

The Tudor was a controversial aircraft with many crews disliking it. Two of the Tudor IV versions, Star Tiger and Star Ariel, operated by British South American Airways disappeared on commercial flights in 1948 and 1949 and were never seen again. Their disappearance in part fostered the 'legend' of the Bermuda Triangle.

The below link is to a short contemporary Movietone News report of the disaster.

 

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Jerry

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I do remember reading that a lot of the routes then stopped a lot i think DUB-CWL-BRS-London kind of like a flying bus service but considering the roads back then these services were a lot quicker! I remember an old trucker telling me it used to take a day to drive to London and a whole week to Glasgow!
 

TheLocalYokel

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I do remember reading that a lot of the routes then stopped a lot i think DUB-CWL-BRS-London kind of like a flying bus service but considering the roads back then these services were a lot quicker! I remember an old trucker telling me it used to take a day to drive to London and a whole week to Glasgow!
When I was in short trousers my family went to London for a week in 1951 re the Festival of Britain. We went by Bristol Greyhound coach from Bristol to Victoria coach station in London and it took something like five hours. We did stop for a break en route, probably at Marlborough which was the regular stop for long distance coaches on the A4 to London.

The UK's bus service type air services of the 1930s were largely the preserve of the well-off and business travellers.

Trains though were a different matter and even before the war express trains weren't that slow. Cardiff-Paddington was quite easily accomplished in significantly under three hours. The post-war steam-hauled Bristolian was scheduled to cover the 116 miles between Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads in 100 minutes. Todays' HSTs take the same time although they stop several times at intermediate stations whereas the Bristolian was non-stop - from London via Bath and to London via Badminton.

It does show though that, unlike road travel, long distance rail travel is not that much quicker now than it was 80 years ago.
 

Jerry

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When I was in short trousers my family went to London for a week in 1951 re the Festival of Britain. We went by Bristol Greyhound coach from Bristol to Victoria coach station in London and it took something like five hours. We did stop for a break en route, probably at Marlborough which was the regular stop for long distance coaches on the A4 to London.

The UK's bus service type air services of the 1930s were largely the preserve of the well-off and business travellers.

Trains though were a different matter and even before the war express trains weren't that slow. Cardiff-Paddington was quite easily accomplished in significantly under three hours. The post-war steam-hauled Bristolian was scheduled to cover the 116 miles between Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads in 100 minutes. Todays' HSTs take the same time although they stop several times at intermediate stations whereas the Bristolian was non-stop - from London via Bath and to London via Badminton.

It does show though that, unlike road travel, long distance rail travel is not that much quicker now than it was 80 years ago.
It can take me by lorry from the depot in Bridgend 3 hours to get to the Heathrow junctions on the M25. The last time i went on a train was to go to my nans a long time ago. I've never been a fan of trains prefer road and air. Much of the rail infrastructure is old and probably needs a lot of money spent on it!
 

TheLocalYokel

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It can take me by lorry from the depot in Bridgend 3 hours to get to the Heathrow junctions on the M25. The last time i went on a train was to go to my nans a long time ago. I've never been a fan of trains prefer road and air. Much of the rail infrastructure is old and probably needs a lot of money spent on it!
That is beyond doubt. Successive governments over many, many years have failed to keep pace with the demand for rail travel where passenger journeys have more than doubled in the last 20 years.

Some areas such as South West England and South Wales have been left behind in the modernisation that has occurred and are only just beginning to get electrification (although years behind schedule and well over budget), whilst other parts of the country are talking about HS 2 and even HS 3. Even then it's only the South Wales main line, and possibly the Valleys Lines (although there seems some dispute as to which government will have to pay for this), that will see electrification. In the South West, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall are not even on any list for electrification.

I like train travel. So long as it's not overcrowded I find it relaxing and we've been taking some rail holidays in recent years.
 

TheLocalYokel

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CWL Traffic Summer 2009

I had a look through the F4A 'archives' and found that a member called planenut321 (I believe that he still posts to at least one aviation message board but with a different user name) took the time to post details of all CWL departures that summer for each day of the week.

There are some routes then not flown at the moment but in general frequencies were then higher on a number of routes that are still flown today.

In 2009 CWL handled 1.625 million passnegers in the calendar year.

http://www.forums4airports.com/threads/201/
 

Jerry

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I love the comment after in that it seems a mediocre summer! :LOL:
Would be great to have some of those routes back!
 

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I love the comment after in that it seems a mediocre summer! :LOL:
Would be great to have some of those routes back!
It did seem so at the time. 2008 had seen 1.979 million passengers and 2007 2.094 million. Little did anyone know then that it was to get far worse in the next few years before getting better.
 

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So with the Champions League coming to Cardiff i decided to have a look at what other sporting events are coming up that could boost passenger numbers from CWL over the next year small or big! (Not including league games).
June 2017
Obviously the Champions League but also the Lions tour to New Zealand starts so some fans may start there long journey down under from CWL but most will probably use LHR or LGW.
11th June Serbia v Wales so maybe a charter or 2 to Belgrade.
September 2017
Wales v Austria 2nd September so we could see some Austrian fans coming into CWL either via MUN TXL or AMS or charter.
Moldova v Wales 5th September maybe a charter to Chisnau for welsh fans or increased pax on the AMS service.
October 2017
Georgia v Wales 6th October we may see a charter to Tbilisi but many welsh fans may choose to use fly via AMS.
Wales v Republic of Ireland 9th October we'll definitely see lots of Irish fans with this one and i've no doubt many will arrive using Ryanair and Flybe.
Possible Anthony Joshua fight on the 28th October. This has yet to be confirmed and will probably draw most of the fans from the surrounding area but there may be a boost in passenger numbers for this event.
November 2017
Wales v Australia 11th November although most will travel via LHR or LGW from Australia there will be some travelling into CWL along with returning welsh exiles.
Wales v Georgia 18th November. As it's the Georgian first ever game against Wales in Cardiff hopefully it'll mean a good travelling support so maybe some charters and a boost for KLM's service as they codeshare wit Georgia Airways.
Wales v New Zealand 25th November. Most will travel through LHR and LGW but hopefully we'll see a few All Black jerseys at CWL.
Wales v South Africa 2nd December. Like there other Southern Hemisphere cousins i suspect most will come throught the London airports but some might travel via AMS.
February 2018
Wales v Scotland 3rd February. No doubt there will be some charters and maybe some extra Flybe flights to bring the Scots down and we'll see plenty of blue shirts and kilts at the airport.
England v Wales 10th February. May help fill up the LCY flights but apart from that there'll not be many welsh fans using the airport for this game.
Ireland v Wales 24th February no doubt Ryanair and hopefully Aer Lingus as well will put on the usual extra flights to carry the welsh fans to Dublin.
Wales v Italy 11th March. Should be lots of Italian fans using charters, KLM and Flybe's Italian flights and hopefully some by Vueling as well.
Wales v France. No doubt there will be a big airlift from all over France and we'll get to see some Air France 777's again and maybe even one of their new 787's!

Also possibly in June 2018. Charters to Russia if the football lads make it?:)
 

Jerry

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Ok spotted an article in Wales Online which is now suggesting Wales could look look to co-host the 2022 Commonwealth Games with another city in the UK but that could lead to the preparation on a solo Welsh bid for the 2030 games. Honestly between Cardiff, Swansea and Newport Wales has the facilities to host the event by itself and depending what sports are included events could be held in North and Mid Wales with temporary sites we really don't need to co-host! Liverpool, London, Manchester and Birmingham have already expressed an interest in holding the 2022 games.
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/wales-could-co-host-2022-13105461
 

TheLocalYokel

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The last time the event came to Wales was in 1958 when it was called the Empire and Commonwealth Games. A fourth former - the future TheLocalYokel - went with a party from his school, The Grammar School for Boys, Weston-super-Mare (sadly no longer in existence) to Cardiff for a day at the Games.

We embarked at Weston's Birnbeck Pier (the pier has long been in a derelict state since those days nearly 60 years ago) to cross the mighty Severn estuary, where it almost becomes the Bristol Channel, on one of the White Funnel fleet of paddle steamers operated by P and A Campbell, the legendary Bristol Channel excursion boat operators. I can't remember the vessel but there is a strong chance it was either the Bristol Queen or the Cardiff Queen. We arrived at Cardiff Docks but returned at the end of the day from Barry which we reached by train from the capital*.

I'm not a huge athletics fan but the thing I do remember at the Arms Park is an English sprinter by the name of June Paul. She was something of a glamour girl and wore brief and quite revealing shorts, at least for those days. These days some of the female athletes turn out in little more than pocket handkerchiefs around their nether regions. Nevertheless, the sight of the lovely Mrs Paul was more a focus of attention for many of the would-be red-blooded teenagers than the athletics.

To return from the fantasies of youth, I've checked the venues since Cardiff hosted the Games in 1958 to find that they've been held in Australia four times (that includes next year), Scotland three times, New Zealand and Canada both twice, with Malaysia, Jamaica and India holding one Games each. Perhaps surprisingly England too has only been the host for one Commonwealth Games since 1958 - Manchester in 2002.

So there is a strong argument that it's time for Wales to have another go at being hosts. I'm very surprised that Durban has pulled out or been pulled out. With sport being so big in South Africa it seems an obvious country to hold the Games, especially after its long period in the sporting wilderness because of apartheid.

* I was probably not aware at the time but in 1958 Cardiff had been Wales's capital for only three years.
 

Jerry

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that Durban has pulled out or been pulled out. With sport being so big in South Africa it seems an obvious country to hold the Games, especially after its long period in the sporting wilderness because of apartheid.
It sounds like there may have been an argument about finances or who was going to run it between the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the South African government. The article i just read tips Liverpool as favourites which could mean North Wales could hold a few events in a joint bid which would be good for that area.
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2017-03-14-explainer-how-durban-lost-the-2022-commonwealth-games/#.WSstlGjyvIU
 

TheLocalYokel

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So apparently Marca have had a little moan about Cardiff as a host city citing hotel and transport problems and complaining that Real Madrid fans have to go to airports like Bristol and Birmingham. The head of the FAW has replied with 'Judge us on June 4!'.
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/judge-june-4-welsh-football-13107990
In 2004 the final was at Gelsenkirchen, a smaller city than Cardiff. Next year it's in Kiev. See how they like that if they get there!

With the Ryder Cup, NATO, Rugby World Cup, Ashes tests and FA Cup Finals experience, not to mention the Six Nations every year, Cardiff has more experience handling major events than most UK cities.

This might have put all Welsh neutrals at the match firmly behind Juventus.
 

Jerry

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With the Ryder Cup, NATO, Rugby World Cup, Ashes tests and FA Cup Finals experience, not to mention the Six Nations every year, Cardiff has more experience handling major events than most UK cities.
Yeah for a small city it does generally do well hosting such events and is actually very unique in that the stadium is in the heart of the city creating a unique match day atmosphere. When Cardiff was hosting the FA Cup during the building of the new Wembley many football fans were quoted as saying they prefered Cardiff. The final will be a great event and hopefully both sets of fans will enjoy the weekend and may come back to Cardiff in the future.
 

TheLocalYokel

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I agree.

St James Park, Newcastle, is another stadium in the middle of its city and that too creates a buzz right in its heart on match days. The same applies on a smaller scale to Bath Rugby, something nearer me. The atmosphere on match days is superb because, as at Cardiff, people can go from the busy central area sights, restaurants/cafes/pubs and entertainments straight into the ground.
 

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Looks like more problems for Cardiff Aviation. Redundancies and staff not being paid again. Also there is a suggestion in the article that there is a management disagreement with the MD Martin Anderson wanting to separate the MRO operation and make it independent of the leasing and training business to attract investors for that side of the business.
Hopefully something can be done to save the business as it employs a lot of highly skilled workers.
https://www.aviationwales.com/redundancies-cardiff-aviation-financial-concerns-continue/
 

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Champions league weekend is in full swing now and my teams stadium the Cardiff Arms Park looks a bit different now! As shown in this article it's full of media trucks!
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/champions-league-final-cardiff-turned-13129072
The teams themselves have also arrived with Juventus staying at the Vale Resort in the Vale of Glamorgan where the Welsh rugby and football teams usually stay and Real Madrid are staying at the Holland House Hotel in the city centre.
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/real-madrid-juventus-arrive-cardiff-13128508
And Newport now has it's very own floating hotel! The Magellan, which is 46,000 tons and can hold 1300 passengers, has been chartered by Nissan as a floating hotel during the Champions league event and arrived today and will depart on Sunday 4th June for a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords.
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/giant-cruise-ship-arrived-newport-13127100
 

Jerry

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After a great Champions League weekend there could be the potential that Cardiff could do it do it all again in 2020 this time as a host city for the European Championship. Brussels may have to pull out because the planned new stadium for the event hasn't been built and the planned tenants Anderlecht have pulled out. So hopefully Brussels potential loss will be Cardiffs gain!
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/wales-stand-host-euro-2020-13136139
 

TheLocalYokel

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The European Championship finals for 2020 have been expanded from the 16 countries playing in a single country of previous competitions to 24 playing around Europe. This will inevitably mean that more 'minnows' will reach the finals so not every match, especially in the group stages, will be well supported by supporters from the countries involved. Countries such as the Baltic States and some of the other former Soviet Bloc countries would not be likely to have large followings.

Brussels was due to host group stage matches and one in the final 16 of the knock-out stage. If Cardiff takes its place it will be hoped that at least one major footballing country features in games there. Looking at those countries not selected in the original bidding, Sweden (Stockholm) seems the obvious challenger to Cardiff, if Stockholm is still interested.

I'm surprised that the Spanish venue is Bilbao and not Madrid or Barcelona.
 

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