Spotted this blue plaque the other week. Wasn’t there last time I passed by.
Alfred William (Bill) Bedford O.B.E., was a World War II fighter pilot and later, in the 1950s & 1960s, chief test pilot at Hawker Siddeley. It tends to be forgotten these days that there was a time when the jet-age test pilots were household names, the Lewis Hamiltons of their age (although Juan Manuel Fangio might disagree).
Mayor of Elmbridge & current Bedfords (left) at the unveiling in 2020, and Bill Bedford (right).
Reflections of a moorhen.
Incredibly brave men, for whom I have the utmost admiration. Apparently there was a point in the 1950’s when the mortality rate for British test pilots was one a week.
I’m with you mate. I’m sure when I was a kid I met Brian Trubshaw (Concorde test pilot) – I had an ‘uncle’ who ran the Heathrow stacking station at the time and used to take me up there on occasions. Did you know that in the 1960s Trubshaw invited the Heathrow bin men to look around the inside of Concorde – and then took off and flew them around the Irish Sea and back. At least that was the story. I do hope it’s true.