October 24, 2003
Goodbye Concorde

Hammersmith in West London being practically right under the final approach line of flights coming in to the land at Heathrow Airport - a few of us from the office popped outside to watch the spectacle of three Concordes flying past on their last ever flights. We headed out to a grassy open area adjacent to the elevated section of the A4 (sometimes known as the Hammersmith flyover) which is in between the Hammersmith Apollo and Hammersmith Bridge. When we got there we noticed that there were quite a few people hurriedly making their way towards the bridge itself. So we decided to head over there. I was amazed at the crowds of people lining both sides of the bridge - and also the entire riverside walkway - as well as on the tops of local office buildings. It seems that many folks around here wanted to say goodbye.

So - from my great vantage point on the middle of the Bridge I collected some video footage of the flypast with my ageing Sony Handycam - and have produced a sad and tearful 62-second pop video tribute. The video is of the last Concorde flying over the Thames at around the Hammersmith Bridge point as it descends into Heathrow - with a high-quality audio dub of an extract of the original version of Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart to compliment the sad atmosphere.

Sad pop video of last Concorde (see below)

DO A RIGHT-CLICK AND SAVE AS HERE in order to download the video. Do not just left-click on it - as your media player will probably think it’s a streaming video file - which it is not. Save it to a folder on your computer and click on it when it’s downloaded. The size of the file is 15.2Mbytes - so if you have cable/broadband leave it downloading in the background - or if you are on dial-up - go an make a cup of tea and come back in ten minutes.

(If you enjoyed that pop-video - you can find some more of my multi-media video ceations at: http://www.jag.me.uk/audiovideo.htm)

During the flypast - traffic slowed down on the bridge to watch - and some white van driver shouted out “Get a life!” to us. This made me wonder why on earth I was out here paying respects to an aeroplane …

Posted by jag at October 24, 2003 11:59 PM

You know, I think I’d have to side with the white van man. I was working my way through a late lunch when I noticed people in the offices across the street leaning out of their windows to catch a glimpse of the last Concorde pass over the Thames. I have to say I couldn’t have cared less. Sure, it’s an elegant areoplane and it’s the end of an era, but I doubt its retirement will have any real affect on the lives of people outside of plane spotters, airport staff, pilots and the priviledged few who actually flew on it. I shall, however, download the video, just to amuse myself (Unbreak My Heart!!).

Posted by: Stu on October 25, 2003 11:21 PM

Nice bit of filmmaking there Jag. Sniff Leni Riefenstahl couldn’t have done better herself (or Chris Morris…). The music is perfect. ;-)

Posted by: Stu on October 25, 2003 11:37 PM

Sorry, I’m with Stu too.

I live under the flightpath in Kew and Concorde is (or rather was) the only plane whose noise manages to get through the double glazing in my house.

Saying that though, even us West Londoners (who get so used to seeing low flying planes all the time) always still used to stop and watch Concorde fly over. I was in Kew Gardens itself a couple of months ago and everyone stopped looking at the amazing plants to stare at Concorde.

I also remember being dragged out to our school playing field in the late sixties/early seventies when she made one of her first flights and we all stood staring at something that looked like a rocket flying over our school.

I spose I’m trying to say I have mixed feelings about it. The child in me mourns its loss, the adult thinks, Thank christ a bit of peace and quiet.

Posted by: Annie Mole on October 26, 2003 09:42 AM

This is a test to see if this comment is timestamped properly now that the clocks have turned back from British Summer Time to GMT. I am leaving this message at 10:05 GMT.

Posted by: Jag on October 26, 2003 10:06 AM

Well - the message got timestamped just fine - but it seems that it has been placed ahead of my response comment to Stu and Annie - which, although was done earlier, it was done before I changed the clock back to GMT in Movable Type. Never mind …

Posted by: Jag on October 26, 2003 10:08 AM

I think I agree with you both. I shouldn’t have cared less about it really. It’s just that there was the hysteria of a few people in the office that I got carried along with - and I guess I was more interested in the event itself than the meaning of it all.

Annie - I know what you mean re Kew - Kew Gardens was one of several target destinations for a “summer picnic” afternoon for my office crowd - but the only thing that put us off was the thought of having to shout over the constant noise of low flying aircraft whilst sipping our Pimms & Lemonade!

Glad you liked the vid Stu! You watch: I am the a Francis Ford Copolla in the making … ;-)

The white van man struck it home I think …

Posted by: Jag on October 26, 2003 10:52 AM

just wanted to wish you a happy diwali!

and ooo i saw a concorde fly over my house, was exciting when the windows started to shake

Posted by: Jaina on October 26, 2003 01:09 PM

Happy Diwali, Jag!

Posted by: Lisa on October 27, 2003 11:11 AM

Jaina, Lisa: And a Happy Diwali to you too! Many thanks! Hope y’all had a great weekend!

Posted by: Jag on October 27, 2003 09:20 PM

I only flew her once.

I remember the power of the takeoff, the speed of the climb, the slight nudge as the afterburners were engaged to take us through Mach 1 and the spectacle of the sun rising in the east.

But most of all I’ll remember the serene majesty of Earth as seen from 60,000 feet.

It’s a damn shame more people didn’t get to experience it.

Great video by the way.

Posted by: Alastair on October 27, 2003 10:59 PM

Thanks Alan. And lucky you!

Posted by: Jag on October 28, 2003 09:49 AM

complitely unrelated however very important. There will be a radio diffusion of a 15/20min concert of Transvision Vamp on BBC6 Music on Thursday 30 october. Sky subrscriber it’s on channel 870. It will also be online on the following day on the following link for one week only. Enjoy !http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/music/dream_ticket.shtml

Posted by: stephane on October 28, 2003 01:56 PM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?

You MUST preview this comment first!
(Apologies but I'm trying to keep the spam-bots out.)

Powered By: Movable Type | Blog Styles | Love Productions | bradchoate.com | SmartyPants | Linux | MT-Blacklist | MySQL | Zeus | Easyspace
© 2002, 2003, 2004 Route79.com - London (UK). Most Rights Reserved. Syndicate this site (XML)