It was one of the hot days in mid-April when 18 Questers met at Bowood House in Wiltshire between and Calne and Chippenham Set in glorious parkland we were glad to be guided round the cooler house and learn the story of Dr Priestley, a priest, non-conformist, philosopher and scientist. Whilst living at Bowood as tutor to the children of Lord Shelburne, Priestley had the time and facilities to experiment with different “airs”. He discovered many gases the most important being oxygen. Some of his home-made appliances were shown in the small laboratory in the centre of the house. After our tour we were free to see the rest of the house and grounds and the many artefacts and sculptures and learn the history of the Lansdowne and Shelburne families. A lunch in one of the two restaurants ended a most interesting day.
A group of AHA members visited the Solent Sky Museum and what a delight it was. The selection of vintage planes included a Sandringham flying boat (civilian version of the Sunderland) with the interior accessible, which gave an idea of the seating configuration and a visit to the flight deck. Other exhibits included a Spitfire, Folland Gnat and plenty of other contributory historic information
The walls and upper gallery tell the story of aviation activities in the Southampton region. Also on the upper floor was a splendid display of Hampshire Police and Fire Service history including information on Andover and Whitchurch. Following our visit, we all went for lunch and enjoyed chatting over the mornings experience.