49 SQN RAF and GROUP CAPTAIN K. G. HUBBARD OBE DFC AFC

 

THE START OF AN ADVENTURE

This section all began early on the morning of 18th May 2002.

I logged on to my email inbox and there was only one there from someone I'd never heard of. However, it was soon to lead to an adventure that has boosted the site from just ordinary to something a bit special.

The text of the mail was as follows: 

"Have just enjoyed visiting your website on the above. I am a good friend of Group Captain Hubbard who as I'm sure you are aware piloted the Valiant that dropped the first H Bomb. I see him on a regular basis and he fondly remembers his time on the Island. I am glad someone has recorded this important if somewhat forgotten part of British history.  I will be visiting it on a regular basis. WELL DONE!  Karl Lake."

As you can well imagine, this was the chance to get some first hand details about the whole purpose of Christmas Island. Soon my keyboard was on the point of melting as emails went back and forth between Karl and myself. A few mails and phone calls later I was ready to leave for a small village in Suffolk to meet with the "man" himself. No, not Karl, but Group Captain Hubbard. The pilot of Valiant B1 XD818, the aircraft that carried out the first Megaton test on 15 May 1957.

On the morning of 7 June 2002, I and my mate of many years, Dave Hill, who was my driver, set off in search of the unknown. Would it all be a fool’s errand or the 'hit' of a lifetime? The journey was pretty uneventful. The weather was overcast, but the rain never appeared. From Kent, through Essex and soon into the lovely countryside of Suffolk. They call Kent the 'Garden of England'; perhaps they should look at other places.