Saturday, 23 January 2010

Rhodesian Photos: Ventura Aircraft Visits Umtali

Trevor Walton Writes:-

The airplane (a Ventura I think,) landed at the old aerodrome near the cemetery,my mother and I are standing in front.

Comment by Eddy Norris
The aerodrome near the cemetery was referred to as "Perrems."

Thanks to Trevor Walton for sharing his photo and memories with ORAFs.



At 26 January 2010 at 21:07 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

The old aerodrome was not Perrems, which was over by Sakubva. The old aerodrome
was the one used in the Second World War and this was by the Cemetery - between Westlea and the Cemetary. When they built Westlea in the 1950's, all
the roads there were named after the wartime bombers which used to land on that aerodrome - Canberra Road, Lancaster Road etc.

There was an old track, we used to walk on as children from Westlea through to the cemetery and that went around the end of the old aerodrome and I always
wondered why they didn't re-instate that one, rather than using Perrems, which was only ever a rough strip, on an incline, whereas the old aerodrome was big
and flat. Perhaps they thought it was too near to built up areas subsequently?

Kind regards,
Christine Smedley

At 27 January 2010 at 07:52 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Brian Meikle Writes:-

I remember Perrems for various reasons.

My mother, as a young woman, was learning to glide there. The glider itself was one of those very basic jobs, all open with a sort of plough-disc seat. Dual instruction was impossible, so learning was by being towed down the runway by a car, with the instructor shouting instructions from the car. She had just reached this stage when a new instructor came along who had not fully grasped her level. He waved her up, so off she went, only to crash-land in the cemetery. She was unhurt, but wisely decided to call gliding off.

In around 1950 my father became manager of the Hippo mine, which was situated on the Sabi river in the South East corner of the country. It was a wild spot, almost inaccessible by road, and I clearly remember our first journey there by truck carrying all our possessions and cutting our way through the bush. My father’s first task was to build an airstrip so that the owner, a Mauritian called Louis Malloch, could arrive in one of his 2 aircraft. The strip had reached 400 metres when he duly arrived in his Auster Autocrat with the company pilot at the controls. It had rained recently, so there was a fair bit of mud on the strip. The plane touched down OK, but the brakes were apparently already on and the aircraft stopped on its nose. While the tail was still in the air, the excitable owner jumped out and ran towards us shouting “six whiskies, six whiskies!”. The prop was rather bent, so it was taken down to the workshop and hammered straight. For the departure we held the tail back in the bushes at one end and let go when the motor was at its peak. It staggered off OK, and we went on to use this plane for regular shopping trips to town. I well remember Perrems was very undulating. I also remember how proud I was at age four, to be able to say that we had the use of a plane for our shopping. I suspect this experience helped shape my ambition to be a pilot myself.

On another occasion Malloch was on his way to the mine in his other aircraft, an open cockpit 2 seater Heinkel. As they approached Birchenough Bridge the pilot shouted “under or over?”. When there was no reply he chose to go under the bridge. Mr. excitable now came to life and shouted “Your fired!”. The pilot duly undid his straps and stood up as if to get out, whereupon Malloch was forced to retract.

At 27 January 2010 at 10:34 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Reg Catterall Writes:-

My RAF buddies think as follows............(I am neutral)........Reg.

Not a Ventura, they were the forerunner to the Hudson and I think the Lodestar Used by Coastal Command. Pratt and Whitney 1830 Radials

At 27 January 2010 at 10:43 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Peter Hume Writes:-
Eddy that is a classic shot. Please send it full-frame. I was only today writing to Dave Hughes about Perrim whose building my Dad''s firm bought in the early Fifties. We spoke of Perrim's plane. Which I thought he flew off the side of the Vumba mountain near where he lived.

At 19 September 2014 at 15:35 , Blogger Phillip Evans said...

According the the serial number (6405) under the main wing this is an SAAF Lockheed PV-1 Ventura Mk1


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