Thus, yesterday, eight of us had a pleasant rideout along country lanes from the biker caff at Box Hill to the Gatwick aviation museum, via pub lunch at the Spitfire-themed Flight Tavern to the sound of easyJet and British Airways takeoffs from the runway beyond.
The museum is the kind of volunteer-run, donation-funded place that's filled with miscellaneous Stuff, including several hundred model aeroplanes donated by the maker's widow, a roomful of engines, and memorabilia from Caledonian Airways.
Outside, a dozen or so Cold War-era military aircraft are enjoying a peaceful retirement of slow disintegration.
Wall of instruments:
Some of the planes looked rather sad:
Others, like this Sea Hawk, had been lovingly restored:
To me, the Fairey Gannet's fishlike ugliness has a certain charm:
The big attraction is this Shackleton. If you're nice to the museum staff, you can go inside:
And pretend to fly it: