J F Bridge

This letter and the one following were both written his sister Anne Bridge while James was on ab-initio flying training at Brough.

The Aero Club, Brough, E. Yorks

Dear Sis,

Sorry I have not written before but I have been pretty busy with notes, reading and writing multitudes of letters to various people.

Yesterday I went for a 30 mins flip with the chief instructor and everyone has jumped to the conclusion that I am going solo. I may go this morning - no body knows. The weather is so marvellous that it provides a great temptation for the instructors and I have done 7½ hours upto date.

Now it is 8 hours & I have not gone solo yet. Having got used to moving the control column continually the other day when

the wind was rough I want to do so again today with the result that I am very unsteady and a bit nervous.

I am going to have a good RAZ round this week end and see how I get on on Monday.

Enclosed is a photo of some of our planes. There are twelve of them altogether. When 6 or 8 are all mucking about on the field all at once there dosen't seem much room for landing.

Must ask you to tell mum to send in bill to Mr. Young for books and get any other book for 4/-, tables are always useful.

Write again soon

Love,    Jim

J F Bridge

Tuesday 22-10-35

Dear Sis,

Thanks for the writing paper and envelopes. I received a letter from Mr. Green and have accepted his offer of the bike repaired with new frame and forks for £8 and as you know am selling the Barnet later on for £7.10.0.

Last night Morgan and I went to the flicks in Hull and saw "Saunders of the River" it was very good and I nearly passed out with laughing at the Silly Symphony. The trains home from Hull are funny little one coach affairs with a little steam engine in one end. Being as usual very nosey I asked

the driver if I could come in with him but he said "well you're not s'posed to, so we didn't but when we got one station from Brough he poked his head in and said "you can come in now if you like", so in we went. I was glad to see that the steam engine had mushroom valves just like a car engine and that was an idea I had thought of for my little casting. That done with yesterday we proceed to examine the events of today and find that I have been rather naughty in the sky. I was told to go off and practice turns for 35 mins but after a bit I thought "rats" so I just sloped off about 15 miles and climbed to about 5,000 feet where one's number is invisible from the ground

and then proceeded to act the fool.

Acting the fool in the air is much better fun than on the ground as it is less trouble, no danger, plenty of room and allows of unlimited movement in any direction so one can just give the stick a vicious shove in any direction and then await the most starteling results.

I did several orthodox 'spins' and steep turns. In a spin the ground
looks like this and a steep turn this.

views from plane Click for large picture

They are bad drawings but remember ones thoughts are liable to be distracted when trying to gain an unbiased opinion of just what the ground does look like.

I bet the cement works got fed up with me keeping on diving and side slipping at their nice big brick chimney and I expect Mr. Reed, over of Reed's Island in the Humber wondered just what I was doing chasing round the contour of his ground as fast as I could and banking all the corners like stink. I was hoping to set up a lap record. And after all this just to show that I was not such a fool as I look (or a bigger one) I went up to 4,000 ft, dodged a nasty

white cloud, dived to gain speed 120 m.p.h. and sailed over on a loop, the first I had ever done.

As all went merry as a marriage bell and I nearly fell out (or rather felt like it) I did another. Whoopee! and the instructor thinks I'm such a good boy! I have done over 2 hours solo now. The newspaper cutting is quite interesting, thankyou.

The girls up here aren't at all too bad. I am going to a dance with one on Friday.

I think I had better stop now as tempus fugit.

Love from your dear little brother


N.B. We all always wear parachutes that work. Jim.

J F Bridge

This next letter was written a year later appararently soon after a move to lodgings in Surrey, perhaps for an engineering course?

9. Lansdowne Rd. Purley, Surrey.

Dear Tub,

Bungho! how are you

I am getting on fine but would like a few more things. Thanks for the face-cloth it will be very useful. Thank mum for the necessities of life. (Except socks). I have just finished two letters and have this and a note to Edith to write. On Saturday I went with Edith and Dorothy to the Lyric theatre to see "Bees on the Quarter Deck" by Priestley,

It was not thrilling but very true to life, very funny and had some real stuffing in it. The seats in the gallery were, to make up for it, absolute pergatory. About 6" wide like benches and the backs so bolt upright that you had to jam your knees up to the row in front to keep on at all.

The little boy of the house is just betting his mother a shilling that she will go out this evening, now he is singing or burbeling "the music goes round and around". He is only 3.

Now tub be a darling and

go hunting round and find

  1. The C frame cast iron for my model diesel
  2. The cube of aluminium for making into a piston. These are on the top of the book case.
  3. Oh! and the centrifugal pump rotor please.
        On second thoughts wash out no. 2.
  4. The longer valve in the flat red biscuit tin which is I think on the bench or perhaps on the floor, it came out of the little petrol motor.
  5. One of the old car's valves. Likely places, in one of the Chedlet Cheese boxes packed with junk that

used to stand on the back of the bench, or in the Chedlet Cheese box in the rough tools' box under the bench. Try in the car's tool box on the running-board.

When you send these please also send the two drawings, one of the petrol motor cyl head the other of the C frame model.

If the lathe has come please open it and measure the lengths of the pulley like this, and the diameters of each.

Put a pair of calipers over the pulleys to measure the diam and read off on a ruler. Calipers are in the smaller tool box I think.

Thats all the machinery I think.

Now please also send

I wonder if mum thought that I went from Wednesday last week to this evening Monday without a shave, and blow not sending it until she knew a permanent address.

Tell mum that I think I can scrounge some lillies of the valley. I must stop now as I have to catch the 10 o'c post.

Will try to get home next week end.

Love, Jim

I will repay you postage of the parcel when I get home.

J F Bridge