Plane Spotting

When I was a boy my family lived in Hayes near London as my father was a minister in a church there. Heathrow airport is right next Hayes. It was the late 60s and aeroplanes were a fascinating thing for a little child. I remember my brothers and I went plane spotting whenever we had the chance. We would be on our bikes, riding from our home to Heathrow. My two older brothers had proper bikes and I had a smaller bike. It was really hard to keep up with them (but fast forward 50 years, I would say if I race them now I can win anytime!). We would go near the runway and watch planes taking off and landing, noting down the model of the plane, the airline, time of taking off/landing, etc.

I watched the Beatles on TV arriving at Heathrow. There was a large crowd of screaming girls waiting to see their idols and I recognised where they were standing – the same place where me and my brothers watched the planes!

When I was nine, my father started working as an engineer and we moved back to Yorkshire. I’ve lived here ever since. Our family is still very religious but my brothers and I have all followed our father’s passion and pursued engineering. When I was 18 my father bought me my first car but the engine in the car wasn't working. He said to me, ‘Son, if you want to drive this car, you’ll have to fix it first!’ My father taught me how to fix my first car before I could start driving it!

Aged 60, Male, Bradford