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Kites to Thunderbirds - Frank Rainsborough Photos

Chris Roberts talk on Wednesday 13 February was listed as a look at some of the men and women who made a lasting contribution during the history of aviation and given Chris’s test pilot’s preciseness the lecture commenced exactly on time.  

An audience of 44 were treated to professionally prepared images of the inventors, scientists, administrators, engineers and pilots, these series of images having been assembled into a story which Chris explained had been prepared for audiences to attend as extra curricular learning during their cruise liner trip, hence the opening slide featured Cunard's Queen Mary II.  

Further slides followed stitching together the story of those who have been involved, including the dreamers who perhaps inspired the rest. In Chris’s opening title there were the intriguing words ‘In over 2500 years many paved the way for others to follow on the journey from kites to Thunderbirds.’  Surely those words were intended to tease the audience so that at some point the query would be rewarded with an explanation, wouldn’t it?  

Yes, the explanation came at the conclusion of the talk!  Chris had been describing the Apollo space crew, that being taken as the apogee of man getting through the air and into space, and of course he nominated those space crew, and then the link to ‘Thunderbirds’ was revealed, the names of those puppets in the Thunderbirds space programme (Thunderbirds are Go!) were named after the Apollo spacemen!