Author Topic: Cotteridge  (Read 21139 times)

avion ancien

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2010, 02:54:07 PM »
Thank you, Phil, for posting that image of the Taylor C.103 Wagtail. It's one I have not seen before - and there are very few of them! Can you tell me the source of it, please?

Perhaps even more interesting is the information you give concerning the location and fate of the Wagtail. Previous sources have been no more specific than "a garage car-park in Birmingham in 1951" (A.W.G.Ord-Hume) and "a Birmingham car park in 1951" (Wrecks & Relics 1961). None have mentioned that it found a buyer or the price paid for it. Do you have any more information regarding its fate? Please feel free to send me a PM.

For those who may be interested to know a little more about the Taylor C.103 Wagtail, it was built by Fred Taylor at his home in Erdington in 1937. Taylor was a bricklayer and builder and a keen aircraft model maker. His first 1:1 scale model was a single seat glider which he built in 1934. Into this he later installed a 350cc motor cycle engine and it became the Taylor A.101 Bedstead! In 1937 the Bedstead too was modified and a more powerful 1000cc JAP engine was installed, becoming the Taylor B.102.

The Taylor C.103 Wagtail first flew in 1938 at Dunton Hall Farm near Sutton Coldfield. Apparently it cost the princely sum of 15 to build! Initially it was powered by the Douglas engine that had been in the Bedstead. However Taylor acquired a Scott Flying Squirrel engine, from Don Burgoyne of Knowle, and installed that. This engine was unsuccessful and the Douglas was put back. Under its power the Wagtail flew, unregistered and unlicensed, until September 1939.

The Wagtail and Taylor's other aeroplanes were stored, dismantled, in a barn at Dunton Hall Farm for the duration. But in 1947 the Wagtail was re-assembled, a Bristol Cherub engine replacing the Douglas, and flew initially from Castle Bromwich and later from a field at Lea Marston until 1950. There Taylor built another aeroplane, a powered ground trainer that used the Douglas engine, the Taylor D.104.

The foregoing information comes largely from Arthur Ord-Hume's marvelous book 'British Light Aeroplanes - their Evolution, Development & Perfection 1920-40' and for the finale I can do little better than quote from that:

"In 1950, Fred Taylor decided to emigrate to Australia and disposed of everything. The Wagtail was exchanged for a second-hand motor car and was last seen derelict in a garage car-park in Birmingham in 1951. This was the final recorded sighting. The designer emigrated to Mount Gambier, South Australia where he allegedly built a second Wagtail and where he died aged 78 on 1st November 1984."
   

Regards

AA

p.s. I should also have mentioned that whilst I don't think that Len Bracey was involved in the construction of the Wagtail, in about 1947 he built a powered glider, reminiscent of the BAC Drone, which shared the Douglas engine and also flew from Dunton Hall Farm.

avion ancien

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #45 on: September 16, 2010, 03:25:55 PM »
It has just occurred to me that as not everyone knows what a BAC Drone looks like, posting an image of one might help jog memories of those who might have seen Len Bracey's mysterious motor glider at Dunton Hall Farm or Lea Marston in the 1940s or 1950s.

Phil

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #46 on: September 16, 2010, 03:53:41 PM »
Hi AA
 
That was the entirety of the information that came with the photo which itself came from Alton Douglas's Book Memories of Birmingham. A 100 years of Photographs.
 
AA if you have such a great interest in aircraft then why not start a thread for that subject. I'm sure Roy would transfer any posts from this thread to that that you might want moved.
 
Phil
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avion ancien

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #47 on: September 16, 2010, 04:21:02 PM »
Maybe, Phil, although I fear that I might be in a club of one!

Phil

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #48 on: September 16, 2010, 05:38:21 PM »
AA
 
Thats a possibility but you would be surprised at the different interests that members on here have. We have train enthusiasts along with boat enthusiasts. So why not plane enthusiasts. If people show an interest then its a win win situation. If they don't,  then you have lost nothing.
 
Phil
Make Love Not War

avion ancien

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #49 on: September 16, 2010, 06:11:22 PM »
Fair point. I'll give some thought to a topic rather more specific than a general aircraft thread and see where it goes. Perhaps if Roy's around these parts and he reads the last few posts, he'll be kind enough to copy - rather than simply to transfer - the aviation related posts in this thread to the new thread in order to give in some 'ready built' substance.

Phil

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #50 on: September 16, 2010, 06:15:02 PM »
AA
 
I'm sure that if you start off a thread with the name you want Roy will do the honours, I'll send him a PM and I'm sure he will oblige.
 
Phil
Make Love Not War

Dawn

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #51 on: September 22, 2010, 08:58:45 PM »
Mark Norton is my sister's Brother in Law he has so many fab photos from way back, I loved seeing the treasure Trove, spent lots of time as a kid wandering around there picking up a bargain for my horse riding days! all that old furniture they had god I can smell that place now lol

PhillF1

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #52 on: December 04, 2010, 11:05:44 AM »
Hi All,
 
I occasionally do a random search for Fred Taylor and the Wagtail as part of my research for my family tree and as luck would have it found this topic. According to my family tree software Fred was my first cousin once removed I'll take that as given. We do share a few family genes in that I have built a Westfield 7 kit car from scratch, and I intend to move to France next year. However what will be more interesting to you will be an exert from a book called "The MMAC Fliers and Their Aeroplanes - 1933 - 1993 Part 3" and gives lots of detail about the Wagtail and associated aircraft. It was given to me by my uncle Larry Chamberlain who helped Fred with the Wagtail. Larry did tell me that when he was helping Fred one day he was allowed to taxi the Wagtail around the field and couldn't resist the temptation to open the throttle and take off after a few circuits landed OK, but Fred was not amused. The exert is very interesting but was hand typed and so I only have it in PDF form. I'm not sure how to attached documents to these trails but will email it directly to whoever might be interested, let me know.
 
Best regards
 
Phill
 
 

roy one

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2010, 11:23:09 AM »
hi phillfi
           welcome to the forum and thank you for your input 
 
may be you could put the pdf file in to a word processor   then cut and copy to the forum page on this thread that may be one way to go  but we will look forword to your input on this topic thanks Roy
each day is a blessing and I bless each day when it comes

avion ancien

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Re: Cotteridge
« Reply #54 on: December 04, 2010, 11:52:19 AM »
Phill, I've sent you a PM with my e-mail address as I'd be very pleased to have a copy of the pdf file containing the extract from 'The MMAC Fliers & their Aeroplanes 1933-93'. I've never heard of this book before. From what you say, I suspect that it was privately printed and published for interested club members only and that few, if any, copies exist today.