My memory is, I suppose being in the navy the thought of having anything to do with aircraft was as remote as you could get. My association with Vulcan XH558 which became the second love of my life (My first being my wife) began one Saturday afternoon when we visited Duxford air show in the summer of 87.

Above us an ever increasing sound of four Olympus engines came closer. The majestic sight of XH558 instantly made such an impression on me that she has been part of my life ever since.

I recall her pulling up, reaching for the sky with all four engines on full power, with ears still vibrating and the ‘wing over’ at the top of her climb. I had just witnessed the biggest and best of British aviation. I was sold.

I recall the announcer stating that this beautiful aircraft was in the twilight of her display years and would be scrapped in a few years time.

Joining the Vulcan association and remaining a member to the bitter end when it folded through financial irregularities, my wife and I started the campaign to keep the Vulcan flying.

We soon joined up with other dedicated Vulcan fans and became the driving force in the vast national campaign that followed to keep her flying and not to be scrapped.

We threw ourselves into getting signatures for the petition to save 558 (In excess of 245,000), which then went to parliament, with enough MPs supporting an early day motion to stop her being scrapped or sold to the USA.

I travelled extensively all over the country to all the air shows that XH558 attended performing the highlight of any air show, drumming up yet more support for our beloved Delta Lady XH558, meeting so many people and making so many friends.

I appeared on national TV and Radio making the case that the Vulcan should be saved for the British people, as she was an icon of British aviation. I also appear on several early videos of the Vulcan and am also on page 120 in my now famous campaign ‘T’ shirt, in the book ‘Vulcan, last of the V bombers.

I have stayed friends with so many other campaigners, though think I am the only on left of the original committee that started all those years ago.

Being asked to become a volunteer ground crew member for the Vulcan once she arrived into the private museum in Bruntingthorpe. The volunteers bonded as a team and kept the Vulcan live and serviced using RAF maintenance manuals, and at one time being involved in changing an engine prior to the fast taxi run open days at Bruntingthorpe’s Big Thunder air show. Preparing the Vulcan was a buzz on those run days!

I was proud to have been a fireman underneath the aircraft as all four Olympus engine roared into life to excite the vast amount of enthusiasts that 558 had made.

For me, everything including the heart aches, the disappointments and the happy times and hard work all paid off when in 2007, she lifted off of the runway at Bruntingthorpe for the first time in 14 years. Emotions, tears and the greatest joy that from the start of a long campaign which begun in the 80s, 558 had broken the shackles of the earth that held her for so long and made her break for freedom up where she belonged. Vulcan to the Sky.

Pleasing so many people at air shows over the last years, this valiant warrior now has to be grounded for good. Stand down you might valiant warrior. You job is done, and for me and other like me, I was honoured and proud to have been a part of you and the excitement you gave us.