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Old 17th May 2013
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Derwent Dams fly past

Here's my summary of the day.
Decided to get up early and try to get some sunrise shots over the dams plus that would hopefully mean I'd get a car park space. Planed a route that was a bit longer but mainly motorway and so easy to drive. Unfortunately I hadn't allowed for my old sat nav getting me hopelessly lost in Sheffield so sunrise was viewed through high rise buildings in Sheffield in my rear view mirror, so no images I'm afraid. It looked pretty good as well Anyway got close to the reservoirs and they were covered in a strip of eerie mist very atmospheric. A couple of Ladybower shots below.





As it was still early I got a parking space but as Ian said it was amazing how many people had camped out just anywhere to be there. Looked around for your car Ian but didn't see you so I took a walk to get my bearings and use the loo whilst there was no queue!

My first view of the dam was somewhat disappointing as the mist was very thick there. My fingers were firmly crossed at this point for the rest of the day. Here's a shot of the East tower just appearing through the mist.



Needn't have worried though as on the way back to my car for a breakfast sandwich this is what the dam looked like before the media vans took up residence.



Anyway after a coffee and sandwich and a little doze! I set off for a suitable viewpoint. That would appear to be around half way up the hill that everyone else scaled. Here's the view I got before the flypast having decided that my lack of fitness meant that a view of one tower only was good enough.



And here's the top of the hill, anyone spot themselves?



Then came the several hours wait for the main event. Time passed pretty quickly actually chatting to people as the hillside began to fill up. The togs next to me had driven down from Aberdeen that made me feel like a local. The overall atmosphere was brilliant the sun was shining and the occasional sounds of the brass band were wafting across the valley. Very poignant when they played the last post. I definitely had moist eyes for those that lost their lives on both sides.

So finally even though I been waiting for hours when the Spitfire turned up I didn't seem prepared (I'd left IS on) typical! and just shot randomly at too high a shutter speed and hoped for the best. Anyway here's what I got of the flypast overall better than I thought they were going to be but like others have said I too need more practice at aircraft.

















They all looked like really low passes to me but I'm sure in reality they were a lot lower and being shot at from everywhere. Definitely an unbelievably brave feat of aviation history. Really glad I was able to see this commemoration event.
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Old 17th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

The valley certainly was a perfect setting for the flypast Phil, it enabled togs to take up positions above the aircraft. Yours is an excellent set regardless of the sat nav and camera technicalities you mention !
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Old 17th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

Thanks for sharing your day and pics with us, the only thing we miss is the sound of those RollsRoyce engines echoing off the hills.
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

You've got some great pictures of a very historic occasion. As a bonus, the first Ladybower in the mist shot is excellent too!
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Old 18th May 2013
Ian Grego Ian Grego is offline
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

Phill,

Thanks for your view on the day what a great account. Very pleasing photos from a special day.

Would have been nice to have met again but I knew the chances were slim unless times were set.


All the best
Ian
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

Ian yes it was a shame to have missed you when we must have been so close. I looked around the car park next to the visitor centre that filled up pretty quickly but I didn't see your car. I should have got organised earlier but I only finally decided to go at the last minute and everything was a bit of a rush. On the way out the traffic looked so horrendous I was focussed on getting to the car and getting out and didn't think to look for your car. I agree it was a special day though, glad I made the effort to go in the end.
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

Thanks Mark yes there were loads of people well above the flying aircraft. They must have been flying at about 200 feet I guess maybe less. Not as low as they did on the actual raid though.

Imageryone the sound echoing across the valley was quite something. I did try a bit of video as well but haven't had time to have a look at it yet. It was with my wife's new camcorder that only came the day before so I was reading the instructions whilst waiting for the flypast. If it came out ok I'll try and post a clip.

John thanks, that first image was a bit of a opportunist shot and actually came out much better than I remember the actual scene looking. Made a big difference cropping it to a landscape view too as there was a lot of foreground clutter to get rid of. I did tweak it in elements to get better contrast, just auto adjust and contrast/brightness mainly so far as I'm just learning the programme.
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

And here's the top of the hill, anyone spot themselves?



Yes Hayley and I are she is stood in front of me wearing a Blue coat close to someone in Orange.
We also could hear the brass band playing and it was definitely one of those moments when the last post was played.
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

Great to see you in the end Derek. Are you number 8 from the top then?
I have a couple of others you might have got on as well if you are.
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

That's us Hayley had her Blue North Face coat so it stands out. We took chairs with us, so most of the time we would be out of site
You have captured the mood of the day very well. It's good to see different angles from the day.
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

Not to diminish the bravery and technical brilliance of the 'Dambusters' raid, but my understanding is that it didn't have a significant effect on German war production, as the dams were soon repaired (although the resources diverted to repair the dams would have had a 'knock-on' effect). I believe also that there was a great loss of life of Ukrainian women slave workers in a factory downstream of one of the dams. I guess nowadays it would be called 'collateral damage'.

Jim
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

How's this cropped shot Derek?
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

Looks like you found a very good vantage point and some excellent pictures to show for it.
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

Thats a good set Phil, a day well spent. My favourite is definitely the 2nd reservoir shot, it's very good
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Old 18th May 2013
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Re: Derwent Dams fly past

Hello Phil,
Great photos, thanks for sharing them with us, it must have been stunning watching those aircraft flying past at low level. The sound of the Merlin engine (and the Griffon in the PR Spitfire) never fails to make the hair on my neck stand up! I wish I could have been there on such a day to remember.
Regards Jim.
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