Old Chiltonian Dan Donnelly has come up trumps again by supplying me with an old newspaper cutting from around 1974 of the Chilton Cantelo Air Force.
I was aware of the Hawker Sea Hawk at Chilton Cantelo School but I had not heard of this Sea Venom pictured in the photo below.
According to the newspapers text this Sea Venom joined the school’s fire engine, ack-ack gun, bofurs, and the radio station. At the 2010 Chilton Cantelo reunion I remember someone mentioning a radio station in the middle of the school woods!
I understand that Captain Cotes-James bought the plane from H.M Government for £40. The plane was unveiled after Rear Admiral J.E.H McBeath and Rear Admiral Ray Rawbone were piped aboard.
Apparantly Captain Cotes-James aquired the Sea Venom after asking Rear Admiral Rawbone, who was then the commanding officer of the neighbouring Heron Yeovilton Fleet Air Arm, if he had any old aircraft lying around! The Fleet Air Arm and the Ministry of Defence were most obliging. I remember his son Mike Rawbone, who was a Chilton Cantelo Millfield School boarder as a fellow school boy when I was at Chilton Cantelo in the 60’s.
If I remember correctly Mike Rawbone was the only boy who came to school at the beginning of term by jet fighter!
This Sea Venom FAW.22 XG691 is now at Flambards Aircraft Park in Helson, Cornwall.