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Vickers Viking G-AIVE Crash, Irish Law, nr Largs 1948

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  • VikingCrash1948
    Rank 5 Registered User

    Vickers Viking G-AIVE Crash, Irish Law, nr Largs 1948

    APPEAL FOR INFORMATION

    VICKERS 610 VIKING 1B G-AIVE CRASH on
    IRISH LAW, near LARGS, 21 APRIL 1948

    On the evening of Wednesday 21 April 1948 a British European Airways Vickers Viking aircraft flight S200P out of Northolt bound for Renfrew Airport struck Irish Law in the North Ayrshire hills. Miraculously, all 20 passengers and crew on board escaped before the aircraft was consumed by flames. Today, substantial wreckage is still present on the windswept hillside.

    For the 60th anniversary of this amazing incident, I am researching the events of that night with the view to writing a substantial, non-profit making piece of work.


    HOW CAN YOU HELP?

    Some information has already been sourced, however, I am keen to have input from people who had first hand experience of the events that night or thereafter, plus information from passengers relatives. If you can help in any way at all, I would be pleased to hear from you.

    All sources of information will be acknowledged in the finished work.

    Please contact:

    Viking Information
    60 Bittern Court
    DUNFERMLINE
    Fife
    KY11 8HF

    e-mail: Viking1948@tiscali.co.uk
    website: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/vikingcrash1948/

    Thanks
  • VikingCrash1948
    Rank 5 Registered User

    #2
    Website just been updated with new information and links.

    Comment

    • Newforest
      Rank 5 Registered User

      #3
      Originally posted by VikingCrash1948 View Post
      Website just been updated with new information and links.
      Interesting website with good links on wreckology in the area. Wish I could help you with more information.
      http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

      Comment

      • VikingCrash1948
        Rank 5 Registered User

        #4
        Thanks - I'll continue to post any updates on here.

        Comment

        • VikingCrash1948
          Rank 5 Registered User

          #5
          Some useful publicity as a result of a press release we issued:

          http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/d...319678.0.0.php

          Comment

          • Newforest
            Rank 5 Registered User

            #6
            Good news then. Spoke to four elderly inhabitants of Largs last month when they were on holiday in Mallorca and asked them about the plane crash, 'Yes, we remember the train crash in town!'
            http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

            Comment

            • VikingCrash1948
              Rank 5 Registered User

              #7
              LOL

              The train crash was quite something too, happened about 10 or so years ago, passenger train failed to stop, went straight through station and was hanging outside a newsagents into the main street!

              Originally posted by Newforest View Post
              Good news then. Spoke to four elderly inhabitants of Largs last month when they were on holiday in Mallorca and asked them about the plane crash, 'Yes, we remember the train crash in town!'

              Comment

              • VikingCrash1948
                Rank 5 Registered User

                #8
                The project is progressing well. We have had some excellent press coverage including the Evening Times, Largs & Millport News, Sunday Post, and a large article is forthcoming in the Scottish Sunday Express on 10 June.

                We have been able to speak with a relative of one of the passengers, a friend of another and have a few more leads to follow up.

                Comment

                • Newforest
                  Rank 5 Registered User

                  #9
                  Hope you can post a link to the article when it is published!
                  http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

                  Comment

                  • VikingCrash1948
                    Rank 5 Registered User

                    #10
                    Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be available on the web. It's a generous piece, being a double-page spead with just a quarter page missing for an advert. Hopefully it will bring us some more leads.

                    Originally posted by Newforest View Post
                    Hope you can post a link to the article when it is published!

                    Comment

                    • VikingCrash1948
                      Rank 5 Registered User

                      #11
                      I have loaded good quality scans all press coverage of our project onto the photographs section of the yahoogroups homepage we have at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VikingCrash1948/

                      Comment

                      • cessna152towser
                        Senior Member

                        #12
                        FWIW here are a couple of scans of old black and white photos of sections of the wreckage.
                        My youthful appearance in the second photo, taken by John Martindale, suggests the photos were taken about 1969 or 1970.


                        Comment

                        • VikingCrash1948
                          Rank 5 Registered User

                          #13
                          Thanks for the photos!

                          Hi All

                          Just bumping this post up again. Needing information on the captain. We have some details on John Ramsden which may help to trigger some memories...

                          DoB: 10 July 1919
                          Qualified as RAF pilot 1940Had Class B pilot's licence endorsed for DH89, DH89A, Dakota, Ju52 and Vikings.
                          Landed at Renfrew nearly 400 times in two years.
                          Lived in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire.
                          Was English.
                          Flew Rapides from Donibristle, Fife. Flew for the FAA for Communciations Flight.

                          Does any of this trigger any memories with anyone? If so, no matter how small a fragment, we'd like to hear from you! Many thanks.

                          Comment

                          • VikingCrash1948
                            Rank 5 Registered User

                            #14
                            Scans of our project press coverage can be found at http://www.atcu04.dsl.pipex.com/vickers_viking2.htm and subsequent pages. Enjoy!

                            Comment

                            • VikingCrash1948
                              Rank 5 Registered User

                              #15
                              We're very sorry to announce that Denis Clifton passed away late last
                              night (28th September 2007) at the age of 84. Denis or Cliff as he
                              liked to be known - was the First Officer on the Viking flight in
                              1948. He was particularly helpful in aiding the survivors of the
                              Viking crash. Realising that the elements might take their toll before
                              search parties could find them, he made the correct decision that they
                              should make their own way to safety. He then led the third party of
                              survivors down from the crash site to safety.

                              We were fortunate enough to contact Cliff four months ago. Over the
                              past four months we talked with him by telephone on a number of
                              occasions. It was immediately obvious from the first call what a warm,
                              friendly, generous and unassuming man Cliff was. He was very positive
                              about our project and answered so many queries we had about the
                              accident. Cliff invited us both to meet and stay with him at his home
                              near London, which we had planned to undertake in November.

                              Only four nights ago we discussed with Cliff his long, varied and
                              fruitful aviation career. Stretching over four decades, he flew
                              assorted aircraft in a range of conditions all around the world. His
                              career started in 1940 when he joined the RAF at the age of 17. A year
                              later he learned to fly in Canada, training in sub-zero conditions on
                              Tiger Moths and then Harvards. Qualifying in May 1943, Cliff then flew
                              anti-sub patrols in Hudsons from near Halifax in Canada. In 1944 he
                              was quickly sent out to Burma. After a rapid conversion course, Cliff
                              did supply and troop droppings duties and glider towing in C-47s.
                              After being de-mobbed in 1946, his civil career began. Flying for BEA
                              and later British Airways, he flew a range of aircraft: Vikings,
                              Ambassadors, Viscounts, Vanguards, Tridents and Tristars. He then
                              became a Senior Training Captain with BA on Tridents and Tristars, and
                              later flew long haul flights all around the world on Tristars. In 1978
                              he left BA to join Gulf Air, where he served as a Senior Training
                              Captain on Tristars. During this time he was based in Bahrain and
                              later Hong Kong. After retiring in July 1983, BALPA awarded him a well
                              deserved BALPA Gold Star.

                              Other than the Viking accident, Cliff had another very close call in
                              September 1962. Just after taking off from Turnhouse in a Vanguard,
                              the aircraft was struck by 120 seagulls. Two engines failed, while the
                              other two were very close to failure. As Captain, Cliff particularly
                              distinguished himself by steering the aircraft back to Turnhouse. The
                              subsequent report read: "A serious and almost certainly fatal accident
                              was only narrowly averted. This was due to the exemplary manner in
                              which the emergency was handled by Captain Clifton and his crew: the
                              Captain displayed the highest possible standard of airmanship." For
                              his actions on this day, Cliff received a Queens Commendation medal.

                              Our memories of Denis Clifton will be of a man who achieved a great
                              deal through his aviation career, and as a man who could keep his
                              composure under the most intense circumstances. But we will remember
                              him also as a true gentleman.

                              Our thoughts are with his wife and family.

                              James Towill and Dougie Martindale

                              Comment

                              • Gordon7000
                                Rank 5 Registered User

                                #16
                                Web link update

                                Originally posted by VikingCrash1948 View Post
                                Scans of our project press coverage can be found at http://www.atcu04.dsl.pipex.com/vickers_viking2.htm and subsequent pages. Enjoy!
                                Scans and press coverage of 1948 accident can now be found at http://www.aircrashsites-scotland.co...ers_viking.htm

                                Comment

                                • VikingCrash1948
                                  Rank 5 Registered User

                                  #17
                                  The first edition of our newsletter, Viking Crash Research News, is now available. Please send a PM with your email address if you would like a PDF copy.

                                  Comment

                                  • Alan Clark
                                    Rank 5 Registered User

                                    #18
                                    Gordon

                                    I see from your latest addition to your site the crew list (apart from the ages) is identical in format and detail to the one I produced for XF702 after a fair bit of research, no one source gave all of the details so I know it wasn't looked up easily. I had to use the accident report, newspaper articles and the new armed forces memorial, that helped iron out a couple of errors in the accident report with service numbers.

                                    By the way Iain C. MacLean (the only crewman you don't have an age for) was 20 at the time of his death.

                                    For Sqn Ldr Harry Harvey the accident report records RAF Kinloss Wing AE Ldr though on my site I only put RAF Kinloss Flying Wing.
                                    Peak District Air Accident Research

                                    www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk

                                    Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker's Guide

                                    Comment

                                    • VikingCrash1948
                                      Rank 5 Registered User

                                      #19
                                      A little bit late, but...!


                                      As the days draw closer to a new year and the 60th anniversary of the crash of Viking G-AIVE on Irish Law, we thought wed announce that we will be holding an event at Lochwinnoch RSPB Visitor Centre at 1pm on Sunday 20 April 2008 the day before the 60th anniversary of the incident. On the day, James and Dougie will be giving an illustrated talk on the project which will also include the first public airing of video footage of Vestals steward, the late Con Moroney, talking about his experience of the crash. We also hope to have a couple of surprises on the day!



                                      At this stage in the project, were piecing together all the information obtained from a plethora of sources and assembling it into readable, logical format! Looking through the folders of paper copies, correspondence, maps and technical data, and delving into numerous computer files it is really pleasing to have located all this valuable information in a comparatively short period of time. There are still a few little areas to be clarified, but the research phase of the project has more or less been concluded thats not to say if more information becomes available that we wont be interested!



                                      Of course, our research would have been far less profitable had it not been for us communicating with a great many people who have helped us with details of their relatives, friends, colleagues and the events of that night nearly 60 years ago. To all of them, a great many thanks. We are also pleased that so many other people have expressed an interest in the project, with over 70 recipients of our Viking Crash Research News publication in locations as far away as Ireland, the US, Canada and Australia. Our press coverage, from local newsletters and papers to national publications proves that there is great interest in what - pardon the clich - was a miracle escape.



                                      In other news, Dougie has nearly completed a 1:72nd scale model of Viking G-AIVE. A resin and white metal kit was used as the basis of the model, with extra details added in brass rod. The painting has almost been finished, with only the decals left to apply. These decals were custom designed so that Vestal could be depicted in the livery worn at the time of the crash. The model will be on display at our April event.



                                      Through Lady Hunter, we have made contact with Mrs Brenda Moore, who has kindly provided us with details about her late husband Hobart Moore and his colleague Jimmy Wilson. We had guessed that Mr Moore and Mr Wilson were travelling together on business but she has been able to confirm this. We have also been able to trace some details of the last years of the Captain of the flight, John Ramsden. An appeal for information is due to appear in the March 2008 edition of Icarus, the publication for retired employees of British Airways (and BEA/BOAC) and we hope that this might produce further details of both John Ramsden, and the Radio Officer, Arnold Lloyd. Both of these players in the story have been possibly the most difficult to locate information about.



                                      It just remains for both of us to thank you all for your kindness and interest in our project. We wish you very best wishes for 2008.

                                      Comment

                                      • VikingCrash1948
                                        Rank 5 Registered User

                                        #20
                                        Over the past 18 months we have been researching the crash for our book Viking Down!, with an intended publication date in 2009. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the crash, we are holding an event at the RSPB Nature Reserve Centre at Lochwinnoch at 2pm on Sunday 20th April 2008. This is a free event and all are welcome. To book a place at the event please call the reserve on 01505 842663 or email lochwinnoch@rspb.org.uk.

                                        During the event, we will be holding an illustrated talk detailing many aspects of our project. This talk will cover how and why the crash occurred, and show just how close a call it had been for them all. But we will also concentrate upon the human element of the story by discussing the lives of the passengers and crew. We will discuss how they escaped from the burning plane, how they fared on the hillside, and their treks to safety.

                                        The stewards two sons are both intending to travel from Buckinghamshire to the event. They are kindly allowing us to show some fascinating video footage of their father Con Moroney discussing the crash. Dougies father John Martindale will also be delivering a slide show covering some of more interesting wrecks he found in the 70s with the investigation group SWAIG. This will feature a few of the local wrecks, the Hudson on Ben Lui, and the story of how the group were involved in the recovery of a German bombers engine from the Moray Firth.

                                        Comment

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