First one last.
Westland Wallace K6028 on Bennachie.
(Distance covered = 4.9mile/Ascent = +278m)
There are two championships held in Aberdeen every year that we go to, one in a seaside Ballroom and one in a theatre in the city centre. Today it was the one in the city centre.
We have a bit of a tradition when we go to Aberdeen; the cooling system on our car fails!. On this day I pulled into a garage to get some diesel and noticed water streaming out from under the car. After making it to the venue following several stops to top up the radiator with water, I resigned myself to the fact that my planned day of hiking on Bennachie was going to be spent in a car park in Aberdeen city centre fixing the car instead. However once I'd figured out where the leak was coming from a hasty repair with some duct tape and cable ties and a supply of as many bottles filled with water as I could muster and I was on my way. I could worry about the 250 mile drive home later!
Parked at The Bennachie Visitor Centre.
There's two crash sites on Bennachie, a Westland Wallace and a Gloster Meteor, as the Wallace was nearest I decided I would head for that one first. There was several marked trails around Bennachie so I had a quick check on the information board at the top of the carpark to see if any went in the direction I needed to go.
The Gordon Way.
The Gordon Way not only went in the right direction, it also passed within 200 yards of the Wallace wreckage, which made this a very easy and enjoyable walk, most of the way through woods.
Further along the Gordon Way.
The Gordon Way gradually made its way up the hillside but there was no major inclines until just before Bruntwood Tap where it turned a bit to the north then headed more or less straight uphill.
Still on The Gordon Way almost at Bruntwood Tap, which can be seen dead ahead.
The wreckage was just at the top of the treeline and very easy to find, it comprised of a collection of very rusty frames, tubes and other fixtures and fittings associated with old Biplanes. This crash occurred just a couple of hours after War was declared, so the two crew are the first official allied casualties of the Second World War, the Pilot also being the first Canadian casualty. This would suggest that the Wallace was most likely the first Allied Aircraft lost.
Above and below:-Taken when I returned a year later, this memorial is at the Meteor crash site but is dedicated to both crews.
above and next 19 photos:- Rusty Remains of the Wallace on Bruntwood Tap
After taking some photographs I set off back across the hill to rejoin the Gordon Way with the intention of heading uphill towards the Meteor Crash. As the top of Bennachie was now covered in clag and as the Meteor crashed on the other side of the Hill; when I reached the Gordon Way I opted to leave the Meteor for another day, so headed back to the Carpark. This decision also meant I would now have ample time to effect a more permanent repair on the split radiator hose, which hopefully would get us home. It was just as well I didn't go and look for the Meteor as I wouldn't have found it. I would discover the following year when I returned, that my grid ref was way out*. Ironically the nearest pieces of Meteor wreckage were less than half a mile from the Wallace site.