I went to Finningley after training as a Fireman all ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’.

I loved the noise and the sight of the ‘beasts’ flying and couldn’t get enough of them. Our main involvement was chute recovery and ‘brake checks’. I vividly recall them coming in to land in a cross wind especially those coming back on the long flights from Canada. They would ‘crab in’ touch down and deploy the chute. On we’d go to retrieve and the shackle of the chute was oh so cold!

On occasions we’d have multiple recovery’s and sit close to the runway as they came in and streamed. Fantastic! Brake checks. We’d hold at the end of the runway and they’d taxi off. There’d be two of us in the vehicle one guy staying with the R/T to the tower and the other would run under and check for any overheating. If all ok and not unduly hot a ‘thumbs up’ if not a thumbs down and on occasions there’d be an actual brake fire!

To have the mass of a Vulcan with engines running above you is beyond words.