Brooklands & Lager

Surrey winter days lend themselves to a traipse around a museum—with the promise of a cosy pub and a fresh pint at the end. England’s full of these blessed pairings, and a little while back we picked Brooklands, and for two reasons: the VC10 and Concorde.

Yes, while some go to the museum and its racetrack for the fast cars, we’re into airplanes. And specifically two that graced the British Airways fleet in decades past. My partner in crime flew the VC10 as a strapping young first officer, and I wanted to see the front office he’d first flown years ago.

And then, there’s Concorde. She flew—and she still looks—like no other airplane in the world (fight me), and her time in service was woefully short. The one time she and I were both at Oshkosh (in 1997, I believe) I could have paid $700 to take a short flight, but I didn’t—thinking I could do a real transatlantic flight someday. Not to be. Lesson learned.

But I could take the simulated flight offered by the museum on their Concorde (G-BBDG). I let myself suspend my disbelief long enough to shed a tear when we came back to “land.”

A soothing lager at the King’s Arms back in Dorking brought my nostalgic afternoon to a fitting close. Shepherd Neme may not be craft beer, but, hey, it was only a simulated flight.

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