Just like writing my snailmail postcards here in a fine Freshwater pub [apologies for the sunbaked cranium!], here's my second e-postcard from the beautiful Isle of Wight. The two photo-groups both cover what proved to be a really exciting day out, which even had a SWORD connection thrown in.
At the remote southern point of the Island are The Needles, a family of limestone spears of rock jutting out of the sea. Next to this dramatic and lonely spot lies the abandoned High Down Rocket Testing Site, one of only several Cold War rocket facilities that operated in the UK and clear evidence that us Brits did actually take part in the Space Race! Now run by the National Trust, this creaky old site captures perfectly what must have been a strange and secretive existence for the 200 personnel who worked there.
The site was for testing rocket engines and the odd satellite. No rockets flew there. So sensitive it was guarded by Police who lived in cottages above it. From High Down the rockets and selected personnel were transported to Woomera in Australia, were the rockets actually flew. You'll remember Swordies that Woomera features in the SWORD strip as SWORD Earth Base! Me and the Missus had a thoroughly testtastic trip, by VW Camper to the stars! Enjoy the photo's and visit High Down if you can.