My first experience of the Vulcan goes back to November 1954.

I was called up for nation service in October 1954 and was sent to Wilmslow for basic training. After about a month we were told to prepare for a route march with full kit but without being informed of our destination.

After quite a hard march some of it at the double, we were told that we could have a rest break and were led onto an airfield, which turned out to be Woodford, and stopped close to a large hangar where we divested ourselves of our kit.

We were then told that we may be allowed inside the hangar, which most of us took advantage of. You can imagine our complete surprise when we saw an aircraft of the size and shape we were completely unprepared for, painted in white and surrounded by scaffolding, we stood in awe looking at it. We were then told that we could walk along the scaffolds but must be very careful not to interfere with the men working on the aircraft. It turned out that this was the be the first aircraft to be delivered to the RAF . XA889 a B1 in February 1955. It left a lasting impression which has remained with me ever since.

I last saw it fly at Farnborough 2 years ago when I had a chat with Martin Withers, who along with his crew in 607 flew the first Black Buck Mission.

I am happy to contribute in a small way to preserve this fantastic piece of aeronautical engineering for as long as I am able.