G-BOAA - Last journey from Heathrow
- Part 2 -
13 April 2004
On 3 April 2004 after G-BOAA had left Heathrow Airport for the final time, she was destined to go to Scotland’s museum of flight near Edinburgh but due to her wings etc being cut off she couldn’t do this under her own power…… Getting her to Scotland by road was impractical so she was slowly taken to Isleworth and put on a large barge moored at Old Isleworth on the Thames.
I really wanted to go and see her but I didn’t know how to get to Isleworth…… I heard from Isleworth she would be going down the river and past all the famous land marks of London which lined the banks of the Thames.
So I decided to wait until she made this journey…..G-BOAA was scheduled to do this on Monday 13 April 2004……..I knew this was going to be the last and final time I’d ever chase Concorde in London and although I felt gutted and sad at her being treated this way I felt I had to see her and chase her for one last and final time.
7 days before her final journey through the centre of London I spoke to many of my old Concorde friends on a Concorde website and asked them if they wanted to join me for one last time.
Most felt her being cut up and transported to Scotland in bits (in what looked like floating iron coffin) wasn’t the way to see Concorde leave Heathrow and London…… they didn’t want to see her this way and where very sad at her departure……..they wanted to keep the memories they had of her in her hey day of her flying at mach 2 from Heathrow.
I was sad that they where not going to join me in chasing her for one last and final time, but I understood how they felt and I respected their wishes.
But a few of my old friends did say they'd meet me at Westminster bridge one of them was Declan with Mr & Mrs Starlight.
A week before G-BOAA’s trip down the Thames one of my friends sent me the following e-mail
up from inside 'Terra Marique' for a photo call opposite Houses of Parliament. Concorde will be lowered again prior to continuing passage down river.
This was a great help as I could plan where to take pictures.
On 13 April 2004 it was warm very sunny spring evening, I got my camera ready and as usual made sure I had plenty of film and new batteries it…… At around 3pm I left home and got the slow British Rail train (stopping at all stations) to Liverpool Street station from there I got the first circle line train heading south towards Canon street, Embankment and Westminster.
The journey took around 45 mins, when I got to Westminster station I quickly walked out of the train and up the various escalators up to surface…… But I was on the wrong side of the river, I was on the north side but needed to be on the south side and opposite the houses of parliament to see her…… I crossed the busy road and walked past Big Ben and houses parliament and over Westminster bridge.
The bridge had more people on it than usual but for some reason the centre part of the bridge had porta cabins with thick tall wooden and metal barriers stretching across the full length of the bridge. (This was annoying as couldn’t stand on side of the bridge to see the front and back views from it).
When I got the south side of the river the whole area was starting to get packed full of people.
there where also many police officers walking round as I walked down the steps next to the bridge I saw large crowds of people standing on the backside of bridge facing the houses of parliament then I saw my friends Declan and starlight standing on the footpath opposite the houses of parliament.
These pics where taken by locals and show G-BOAA at Old Isleworth on the river Thames during the start of her journey to Scotland.