Eccles Grammar School

Essayan – Spring 1967




One miserable October Saturday, after receiving a set of plans for my first glider, I set off with a friend to the Model Shop in Eccles to buy the wood with which to start. My first shock was when I was told the price of the wood. After choosing a couple of wafer thin sheets of balsa and about five other strips, I nearly collapsed when the girl behind the counter said:

"That will be ten shillings and sevenpence, please." I told her I thought it was robbery, but she convinced me that it was correct by presenting me with a price list. This was only the start (I still hadn't bought any glue). With this wood I just about finished the fuselage.

After finding my family strongly unco-operative, I had to dig deeper into my pocket and set off once more for Eccles. This time the wings had to be constructed. This is a very delicate job which needs much more concentration and a very steady hand.

I cut out twenty-two wing ribs which all had to be exactly the same. The trick is that you hold them all at the same time and sand paper them to the same shape. On doing this, our dog (she is a St. Bernard of nearly twelve stones) gave my chair a hefty whack and all twenty ribs went flying all over the room. I recovered eighteen but four got away.

After completing this, the task of covering with tissue was next in line. This job was soon done and I sat back and admired my master­piece. I left it for a few minutes to get some shrinking dope only to return to find the kitten lying along it with its four dangling paws through the tissue covering (there is now a large patch covering this part.) The cellulose dope nearly choked me but it did the job well. Assembling was then my last task.

One month, seven tubes of balsa cement and £1-3-0 later, I relaxed and looked at my beautifully stream-lined glider completed. That morn­ing I proudly marched down the road with my 45" wing span plane tucked neatly under my arm. Once on the field a small crowd of interested people gathered around to watch the "GRAND LAUNCH." On one end of the towline was my glider and on the other end was myself running something like a four-minute mile. Up it went and turned a full circle in the air. After doing this slight amount of aerobatics it nose-dived at an angle of approximately 80 degrees.

My glider is now back on the construction line!

C. Orr, 4Sc.



On a warm spring morning the first and second form party began the journey to three castles in North Wales: Beaumaris, Caernarvon and Conway.

First we arrived at Caernarvon, where we ate lunch, and then pro­ceeded to the cast1e where the organized parties soon broke up.

The castle is in relatively good condition, but the walls that used to divide the castle are now gone. The "Eagle Tower' is interesting since at the top there are some stone eagles mounted on the battlements ­hence the name. The tower was also the birth-place of the first "Prince of Wales."

The castle and the old town are surrounded by walls and used to have a moat in the form of the River Cadant, now either underground or dry.

Next we came to Beaumaris and after crossing the great bridge over the Menaii Straits and a winding journey through twisting lanes we reached the castle. It was the last of Edward I's Welsh castles and it never reached completion. A large stretch of land has been reclaimed from the sea, and it is difficult to imagine the castle ever having a harbour, though a pool, once the harbour, still remains, as part of the wet moat. We were all able to walk right round the wall and get lost in the eerie passages echoing with cruel laughter.

The stay at Beaumaris was quite short and we were soon off to Conway. This castle looks as dark inside as outside, grim ruins of the giant castle with its chapel and roofless hall. The suspension bridge could easily be seen, and many good photographs were taken. A great centre of interest was the ninety foot well that looked very menacing. Lastly, thanks to all staff concerned for an enjoyable time.

J. Hardman, 2S


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