Tony Kearns wrote:Apologies Jim I may have given the wrong impression, when I say survey I mean a survey carried out by the Air Corps and not a national survey.
Ah! an IAC survey, that explains everything, Thanks Tony.
The IAC at the time surveyed a lot of sites/potential sites but very few were sanctioned as suitable.
I am attempting to attached another Athlone location, this site was inspected in September 1933 . Fingers crossed!
The big meadow is credited with aircraft landing throughout the years but, believe it or not it is Marshland. Big meadow is part of the area known locally as "the Meadows" The northern end(20%) of BM is higher and dryer, and the field north (little Meadow) in later years formed "The Athlone Showgrounds". This is where Patsy claims the aircraft "Performed".
He also mentioned the "Soldiers Field".
This is an area near to where The canal starts on the Northern end.
August 1970.....Mr.D took off from the showground in his homemade gyro and crash landed in big meadow.... flight = 600 mtrs
He rebuilt the machine and 2 wks later pushed it down the road to the showgrounds again along with all the local children.
He fired up the VW engine and,............along came The local Garda and confiscated it
There was minimal restriction on light HB aircraft at the time but, Suicide was illegal at the time
grow characters like him anymore, more's the pity.
I had a look at the Westmeath planning website maps, searching for
Bigmeadow. It turns out that everyone is more or less correct. First
the area used was as Jim said, the drier northern part of the marshland
and a section known as "Athlone Showgrounds", but I was surprised to
note that the townland of Bigmeadow runs from the southern tip of the
marsh beside the river Shannon and continue's north right up to the
bridge. Then zig-zag's west along the southern boundry of Custume
Barracks to the canal bridge and continues south along the canal back
to the southern tip. A large triangle. So it is correct to call the landing
field Bigmeadow or Athlone Showgrounds. One final point, the full title of
the townland is "Athlone and Bigmeadow".
hugoj_air wrote:A sad end to what was a very interesting gentleman.
Not necessary an end, i believe this guy is still around but the mind may be of a different level!
We dont seem to grow characters like him anymore, more's the pity.
Actually, we do. but today the authorities, tight legislation and society seem to prevent the exposure of their many talents.
An example is the Roscommon man who not only designed but built his own Jet in his garage. I saw it in 1993 and it resemled nothing like i have ever seen.
It is a single seat "Sidart" and he believes it could reach supersonic speeds.
He said he brought it down to "Carnagh" range and completed all the ground tests but at the time of starting flight tests the carnagh area was unavailable as the army were in practice. He is unfortunatly now in the County home.
I will attempt to get some snaps but, dont hold your breath
Any chance of a little more information? Is the project abandoned or is the builder gent likely to
revive it anytime soon?
That poor gent is still within the bounds of Top Watch.
(Possibly considered a security risk )
I have not had the chance to visit him since Early December, personal problems - my side!
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