G-BOAA's last journey from Heathrow
- Part 1-
3 April 2004
On Saturday 3 April 2004 I came home after shopping and was chilling out when my mum said JezH (one of my mates) called, I logged on to a www.concordesst.com forum to find out what was going on.
G-BOAA (British Airways first Concorde) was going to moved on Saturday night.
At first I thought ............ DOH and replied that I couldn't come but I wanted to go so I worked out the train times etc….. Told mum where I was going, who I was going to see and what timed I’d be roughly back home…. Mum knew I was nuts about Concorde and told me to have a nice time….. I left home at 8pm got to Romford station by 8.15pm and jumped on the first train to London Liverpool st (but in the rush to get to Heathrow got my camera but forgot my tripod).
At 8.40pm I was at Liverpool st and making my way to the Central line, gave Peergint a bell to see if he was coming and tried to call JezH.
Got the central line and raced to Holborn….. at Holborn got the 1st train to Acton, got to Acton by 9.50pm and had to wait for the bus to Hatton Cross, called Jez to find out if Concorde had moved Jez
She has moved earlier on, but wasnt leaving Heathrow until around midnight - 2am.
I ummmed and arrred about it coz I wondered how was I gonna get home after the last train.
I talked to the Underground controller, He said
The last train from Acton to Central London will be at 12.12am.
I knew Concorde would not be moved until around that time so i called Jez and said
Sorry I can't make it.
I was gutted but hopped on the 1st tube and made my way home.
But on my way home I had a very very strong feeling that some how I had to see G-BOAA, I thought
If I didn't I will regret it for the rest of my life.
By the time I got to Earls Court station my mind was made up and felt I had to get back and see G-BOAA so I called London Transport’s info office :- 0207 222 1234
They gave me the night bus times and said to get home by 3-4am I needed to leave Hatton Cross by 1am, then I called JezH to let them know I was coming back, He said
Fine get to TGM (The Green Man) pub as soon as you can.
I also phoned home and told mum I wouldn’t be back til very late…..I got the TGM by 10.50pm saw JezH and others (who where also waiting to see G-BOAA leave Heathrow for the last time).
In the TGM every one was laughing and happy, it was a great atmosphere but we didn't know exactly what time G-BOAA would leave, some said it would be by midnight, others said it could be around 1-ish am…..while the rest said it could be by 2-3am none of us where 100% sure but no matter what happened we knew we had to be there to see her off for one last time.
We left TGM at pub closing time, we all went to see G-BOAA at the old Concorde hangers, stood outside BA car Park, set up our tripods and cameras and took a few pics of her.
By this time it was very cold and starting to spit a bit with rain, Heathrow Police where there but didn't hassel me, road blocks where setup and we where all waiting for Concorde to move at midnight.
One of my friends heard about me forgetting my tripod and lent me a spare one they had.
Midnight came and went but nope no movement, It was getting colder and colder, it was also starting to rain lightly at first then came the 1st ice cold monsoon shower and we all got soaked standing there waiting for her.
At 12.55am some one raced over and said she wont be moving until around 1am, by this time i was cold and wet, had missed me 1st night bus home but i was happy so I thought I'd stay here until she moved.
Across the road many cars from my other mates where parked up but the rain was getting worse. Still we all patiently waited for her with our cameras.
At 1.20am we saw movement in the distance of Police cars, road blocks, work mens cars etc, Police cars where racing by us at high speed with lights flashing, sirens whaling.
We where all very very wet but raced across dual carriage way to see G-BOAA, We got to a spot where we knew she'd be turning right and waited…… The rain got worse and heavier, it felt like a cold monsoon, the wind was also blowing a bit and all our clothes, cameras etc where soaking and dripping with ice cold rain water…. On top of all this there was a bad eggy smell (I thought I'd farted but i didn't it was coming from a farm behind the trees).
At around 1.55am we all saw movement of the trucks around Concorde, they put down slabs of metal over the road…… We all rushed back to spots, set our cameras up ready for action and waited.
At 2am the rain eased off and things started happening, Concorde was very slowly moving, in the distance you could see countless white flashes going off in front of Concorde as the Newspaper photographers where running around taking countless photos of her…… When we all tried Heathrow Police orderd us to move back that got on our nerves…… But we got back to where we where all where before and started taking more photos and video of G-BOAA.