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Sentinel (Spitfire Island) added to Monuments in West Midlands by ensignvorik on 19/08/2021

Sentinel is a 16-metre-high (52 ft) sculpture by Tim Tolkien, installed upon Spitfire Island, a roundabout at the intersection of the Chester Road and the A47 Fort Parkway.

It is near Junction 5 of the M6 motorway and the present day Jaguar Cars plant (the former Castle Bromwich aircraft factory). It shows three Supermarine Spitfires peeling off up into the air in different directions. The half-scale Spitfires are made of aluminium, with curving steel supporting beams which act as vapour trails. It captures the dynamics of the Spitfire in flight and commemorates the nearby Castle Bromwich factory where most of Britain's wartime Spitfires were built.

Firstly this is a busy junction, try to stay clear of rush hour, and the obvious precautions regarding traffic, take off away from driver visibility where possible so as to not be distraction and cause an RTC. Trying to fly 50 meters away is difficult, so use a sub 249g drone only within this area to keep within the drone code.

Secondly, seagulls. On this visit there was a colony of gulls that seem to use the Jaguar Land Rover Plant as home, probably a hot spot of left over food from workers. So whenever I got over that side (which the monument faces) then the gulls got interested which made getting good video footage frankly impossible, photos were a case of go in, photo, go out, repeat. I eventually gave up after several runs as didn't want a drone potentially falling on traffic after a gull attack.

Thirdly, this is just outside the Birmingham Airport FRZ, so don't stray!

If arriving by car use either the B&Q Car park or the Sainsburys car park near by. Both allow 3 hours free parking for 'customers only' be aware of the opening and closing times of the stores as the car parks do get locked up.

The best TOAL is where I've placed the marker, as this is a path on a gradiant and allows you to be higher up than the road giving a good VLOS.

The next best place is the opposite side of the A452 by the pedestrian crossing. There is a telephone junction box here which makes a nice stable TOAL point, however you are closer to traffic and could be a distraction to drivers, so use cauction, be sensible and only use this point at quieter points of the day.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinel_(sculpture)

Land owner permission not required.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 52.51235, -1.797005 • what3words: ///ranks.bond.leads

The originator declared that this location was not inside a Flight Restriction Zone at the time of being flown on 18/08/2021. It remains the responsibility of any pilot to check for any changes before flying at the same location.

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Recently added locations

Peatmoor Lagoon (By clinkadink)

Free parking in the car park in front of the pub at these coords: 51.57724101250711, -1.8351754757567007. Lots of good, clear areas for TOAL. Be mindful of the wildlife present, especially the birds in the lake. A beautiful, rather quiet spot, with great sunsets.

Peatmoor Lagoon is a small fishing lake bordered by trees, which lies to the west of Mead Way. Shaw Forest Park is 40-hectares of community woodland which lies to the east of Mead Way. Shaw Park was landfill but now boasts of a range of habitats (hedgerows, wildflower meadows, woodlands, wetlands) and a variety of wildlife (birds of prey, wildfowl, amphibians, roe deer, foxes and bats).

Land owner permission not required.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 51.57544, -1.836623 • what3words: ///remix.armrest.gong

Liddington Castle & WW2 Bunker (By clinkadink)

Parking in a decent sized lay-by on B4192 at 51.52226411323071, -1.6865735647029836

Liddington Clump and Liddington Castle is located on the Ridgeway near Swindon.

The Ridgeway in England stretches 85 miles (137km) from Overton Hill near Avebury, Wiltshire, to Ivinghoe Beacon near Tring, Buckinghamshire. It has been used for 5000 years by many different groups of people; travellers, farmers, and armies. During Saxon and Viking times, the Ridgeway was useful to provide a track along which to move soldiers into Wessex. In the medieval period, the route would have been utilised by drovers, moving animals to market.

Liddington Clump is the location of a 'Starfish' Decoy Control Bunker. This is the control bunker for a WWII 'Starfish' bombing decoy site. 'SF' - standing for 'Special Fire'. This would have been used to control fires which would have acted as a decoy to enemy planes targeting the town of Swindon to the north. The bunker consisted of two rooms off a central passage. That on the right housed generators. The control room was on the left, with a hatch in the concrete roof.

Liddington Castle is a late Bronze Age and early Iron Age hill fort in the English county of Wiltshire. At 277 metres (909 ft), it is the highest point in the Borough of Swindon and covers an area of 3 ha. Liddington Castle was one of the earliest hill forts in Britain, with first occupation dating to the 7th century BC. It is suggested as a possible site of Mount Badon and the location of the late 5th century Battle of Mount Badon. An historic battle where the Celtic Britons, led by King Arthur, defeated the Anglo-Saxons.

Land owner permission not required.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 51.51591, -1.700406 • what3words: ///degrading.passion.fittingly

Baddesley Basin, canal & locks (By Steviegeek)

An excellent place to film canal craft, many moored in the basin and two locks adjacent, one is situated under the road bridge, wonder which was there first ??
I parked in a car parking area, left turn after leaving roundabout, I sat and TOAL on a park bench overlooking the basin, lovely sunny afternoon, very pleasant.

Land owner permission requirements unknown.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 52.58296, -1.561059 • what3words: ///expiring.sorters.stopped

Battle of Naseby Column (By Acedrone)

A short walk into the field from the road, parking for 4 cars at side of road

The Battle of Naseby took place on 14 June 1645 during the First English Civil War, near the village of Naseby in Northamptonshire. The Parliamentarian New Model Army, commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, destroyed the main Royalist army under Charles I and Prince Rupert. Defeat ended any real hope of Royalist victory, although Charles did not finally surrender until May 1646.

Land owner permission not required.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 52.41363, -0.994654 • what3words: ///pronouns.kettles.purple

David Livingstone Monument (By Drumsagard)

The monument to Scottish physician and explorer David Livingstone is in the David Livingston Memorial Park in Blantyre (his birthplace), South Lanarkshire. The monument sits in a wide open space suitable for flying but can be busy with dog walkers most times (I've found it best to fly early morning or late evening). Parking can be found both inside and outside on the road, the gates are always open.

Land owner permission requirements unknown.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 55.80173, -4.083226 • what3words: ///pillow.league.dine

Devizes White Horse (By Fatfred_flies)

Land owner permission not required.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 51.37697, -1.978186 • what3words: ///newest.dabbling.guesswork

Etching Hill, AONB (By Steviegeek)


The parkland known as Etching Hill is on the easterly edge of Cannock Chase. which is designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and enjoy many 100's of 1,000's visitors annually.
I TAOL from 52.765503,-1.961235, car parking on Mount Road, quiet on a weekday just a few local dog walkers. I did not meet anybody during my flight.

Land owner permission not required.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 52.76572, -1.96133 • what3words: ///messing.fortnight.awkward

Haweswater (very low in '21) (By MTLakes)

Parking is in certain areas & at the very end of the road but be aware this is a very narrow road barely wide enough for 2 cars.

Land owner permission not required.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 54.49412, -2.809796 • what3words: ///proper.closets.users

Cricket matches at Lichfield. (By Steviegeek)

Lichfield Cricket and Sports club.
Managed to catch the last match of the season.
TAOL from 52.697008,-1.841582 and flew loop over adjacent field to peer over hedge by Clubhouse to view the game without being obvious.
This site hosts over sports so may be photogenic in other ways.

Land owner permission requirements unknown.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 52.69812, -1.837808 • what3words: ///ledge.reject.scans

Go-Karting at Fradley (By Steviegeek)

Midland Karting is a commercial enterprise offering the 'racing of go-karts' as a personal experience.
I TAOL from Netherstowe Lane at 52.713009, -1.802135 and flew across the field to avoid being a nuisance.

Land owner permission requirements unknown.

View and discuss this location on Grey Arrows.

Co-ordinates: 52.71153, -1.79432 • what3words: ///essays.obstruction.relief


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