Veteran and Former Aircraft Worker Reunited with Blackburn Buccaneer After Over 60 Years - Ideal Carehomes

Veteran and Former Aircraft Worker Reunited with Blackburn Buccaneer After Over 60 Years

98-year-old veteran and aircraft construction worker Gordon Walsh from Ebor Court care home was invited to the Yorkshire Air Museum to celebrate the anniversary of the Blackburn Buccaneer’s withdrawal from service.

After serving in The Royal Corps of Signals for four years from the age of 18, Gordon attended university in Leeds and later went on to work in the aircraft industry, first with Bristol Aeroplane Company and then at Blackburn Aircraft Company in Brough.

It was during his time working with Blackburn’s Aircraft Company as a Section Leader that Gordon began working on the Blackburn Buccaneer Royal Navy Aircraft in 1953.

Gordon said, ‘I felt good working on the Buccaneer. It was brand new and had features that other aircrafts just didn’t have.

‘If we had any problems that we didn’t know how to approach, I was sent to Farnborough or Bedford to consult with aerodynamics experts. In Bedford they had a room full of computers which we didn’t yet have, and I met WJG Pinsker who worked on the V2 rocket.’

The Buccaneer was withdrawn from service in 1994. To mark the 30th anniversary of the Buccaneer’s retirement, Gordon and several other ex-aircraft workers and pilots were invited to a special evening dinner, where they would also be reunited with three surviving Buccaneer planes.

Gordon continued, ‘The most outstanding thing for me is that I was invited at all. I left my job at Blackburn`s 66 years ago, that’s why I was so surprised to be there.

‘The highlight of my day was talking to the Pilots; I admire them so much. Particularly a Naval Pilot who had flown Buccaneers in South Africa and had clocked up 2,000 hours of flying without any problem.

We had a buffet lunch then we were shown a couple of films about the Buccaneer. After that we had the photo shoot outside with the Buccaneer.’

Shane Talbot, the Home Manager at Ebor Court, added, ‘Gordon talks so passionately about his time working on the Buccaneer, it was an honour to see him reunited with the aircraft he holds so many fond memories of.

‘It’s so important to remember that our residents have such incredible histories; it’s a pleasure to be able to learn about those histories and hear our residents’ amazing stories at Ebor Court.’

You can find out more about living at Ebor Court at the home’s Coffee Morning every Wednesday from 10:00. All are welcome to join the residents for a cuppa, cake and a chat at Ebor Court care home, Great North Way, Nether Poppleton, York, YO26 6RB.

You can also contact the home by calling 01904 782 708 or emailing

Ebor Court, operated by Ideal Carehomes, is a residential and dementia care home, rated ‘GOOD’ by the Care Quality Commission. All bedrooms in the care homes are en-suite, enabling staff to deliver person-centred care in a dignified manner, promoting independence as far as possible. Ideal Carehomes was named a Top 20 Care Home Group by for the fifth year running.