WORCESTER in Worcestershire

SEVERN SPINNERS (Kidderminster) RC Aero Model Flying Club

Worcester is a city in central England’s West Midlands region. By the River Severn, medieval Worcester Cathedral houses royal tombs. At The Commandery, a museum traces the building’s evolution from the Middle Ages through England’s Civil War to the 1950s. The timber-framed Tudor House Museum focuses on life in Tudor and 17th-century Worcester with displays on traditional brewing and weaving. Worcester is a very interesting town and we will include further information and helpful information below.

Worcester also has one of the oldest Radio Control RC Aero Model Aircraft Flying clubs to be found anywhere in the UK and perhaps globally. We hope that anyone living locally in Worcester or Worcestershire will find information provided here to be helpful and useful. Is it true that the Worcester Flying Club is kind of a competitor to the Severn Spinners Kidderminster Flying Club, however we are all like minded friends with a keen interest in radio control model flying.

In Roman times Wroxeter was strategically located near the end of the Watling Street Roman road that ran across England from Dubris (Roman Dover). During the early years this was a key frontier position lying on the bank of the Severn river whose valley penetrated deep into Wales and also on a route to the south leading to the Wye valley.

Archaeology has shown that the site of the later city first was established about ad 55 as a frontier post for a Thracian legionary cohort located at a fort near the Severn river crossing. A few years later a legionary fortress (castrum) was built within the site of the later city for the Legio XIV Gemina during their invasion of Wales. The local British tribe of the Cornovii had their original capital (also thought to have been named *Uiroconion) at the hillfort on the Wrekin. When the Cornovii were eventually subdued their capital was moved to Wroxeter and given its Roman name. This legion XIV Gemina was later replaced by the Legio XX Valeria Victrix which in turn relocated to Chester around 88 AD. As the military abandoned the fortress the site was taken over by the Cornovians’ civilian settlement.

The ruins of Viroconium’s public baths at Wroxeter

Viroconium prospered over the next century, with the construction of many public buildings, including thermae and a colonnaded forum. At its peak, it is thought to have been the 4th-largest settlement in Roman Britain, with a population of more than 15 000. The Roman city is first documented in Ptolemy’s 2nd century Geography as one of the cities of the Cornovii tribe, along side Chester.

Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain around 410 AD, the Cornovians seem to have divided into Pengwern and Powys. The minor Magonsæte sub-kingdom also emerged in the area in the interlude between Powysian and Mercian rule. Viroconium may have served as the early post-Roman capital of Powys prior to its removal to Mathrafal sometime before 717, following famine and plague in the area. The city has been variously identified with the Cair Urnarc and Cair Guricon[6] which appeared in the 9th-century History of the Britons’s list of the 28 cities of Britain.

N.J. Higham proposes that Wroxeter became the eponymous capital of an early sub-Roman kingdom known as the Wrocensaete, which he asserts was the successor territorial unit to Cornovia. The literal meaning of Wrocensaete is ‘those dwelling at Wrocen‘, which Higham interprets as Wroxeter. It may refer quite specifically to the royal court itself, in the first instance, and only by extension to the territory administered from the court.

The Roman city was rediscovered in 1859 when workmen began excavating the baths complex. A replica Roman villa was constructed in 2010 for a Channel 4 television programme called Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day and was opened to the public on 19 February 2011.

Worcester Model Aero Club

It seems likely that the Worcester Model Aero Club is the oldest model flying club in the world. It was formed in 1909; the same year that Louis Bleriot made his historic 40-minute flight across the channel from Baraques near Calais to Dover in his monoplane powered by a 25-hp engine. According to the magazine ‘Aero Modeller’, a local Worcester man, Mr. S. Pollard, built his first non-flying model around 1908 and considered that this ‘showpiece’ was the starting point for the club a year later..

In 1912 the Wo0rcester flying club members were photographed with their various models which were powered by rubber bands. A few seconds of flight was a great achievement. By 1913 they were building models which could fly for over 30 seconds. They also started to hold club meetings and their President was Earl Beauchamp. World War II stopped them flying but once that was over the club got going again. Now the planes had engines but were flown attached to hand held wires. Radio controlled models did not arrive until later. The great leaps in aircraft design, which the war brought about, were now reflected in the scale models that the club members built.

In 1993 Worcester City Council made the club aware of their intention to extend the municipal golf course and gave them immediate notice to quit. The club obtained a stay of execution during which time efforts were made to re-locate. Unfortunately the Council was unable to offer a suitable alternative site. Despite appeals to local M.P. Peter Luff, who was unable to sway the Local Authority to allow the oldest model flying club in the world to stay on Perdiswell, on the 31 December 1995 Worcester Model Aero Club ceased flying in Worcester, membership fell with the loss of Perdiswell from around 300 to 50 but the Club does still exist, having used fields at Upton Snodsbury, Oddingley and Tibberton in the years since their eviction from Perdiswell. They currently fly in the Rushwick and Hanbury areas. Winter evening meetings which were once held in a Nissan hut on Perdiswell are now held at the Barbourne Ex-Servicemen’s Club In 2009 the club celebrated it’s 100th anniversary.