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John Pavelin’s Aerial Photographs

Article by Richard Kirton

14 January 2018

John and Bill Pavelin both turned up at our regular quarterly meeting at the Castle Inn on Saturday 13 January 2018 and it was a pleasure to listen to them since they are always armed with tales of their exploits. On this occasion, John had brought along a few aerial photographs of a few of our treasured locations, some still here today and some that are now gone forever, in particular a photograph of the Star Lane brickfield which he took in the year 2000. As you are all aware, the site is now residential and almost finished and I am sure that we all extend a warm welcome our new residents.

I have known John and Bill for several years now and always found them both intriguing and unique to listen to and most welcoming to me whenever I call on them. One of John's many memories from the age of three, is riding on a pig as if it was a horse, but I digress and that is not hard to do in either John or Bill's company. John also remembers well, the 13 October 1944 at 7.20 am. His grandfather kept many pigs when suddenly some V2 rockets exploded in the air and the war head crashed into the pig runs. His grandfather was very upset since three pregnant pigs died and normally at that time in the morning his grandfather would have been feeding the pigs, so he was quite shaken up. That particular morning his grandfather, William Pavelin, wasn't feeding the pigs because the pig food hadn't arrived at the farm. This was a miracle because the warhead landed about 400 yards from his house and broke all the windows. John was 12 years old at the time and picked up quite a few parts of the war head.

Since then, one of John’s passions along with Bill has been World War II aircraft and bombs, having had several other aircraft and bombs landing within the Barling and Wakering borders. John kept the warhead parts for about 60 years until 2003 when they both took them to the Peenemunde museum in Germany. They are there to this day and both John and Bill have made many trips back to Peenemunde along with many visits to Poland.

I could go on for a long time about their exploits but the point of this article is for John to share just a sample of aerial photographs that he has taken from the diversity of light aircraft that he has owned. At the age of 86, John is not only a light aircraft pilot but also a farmer, engineer, mechanic and historian. Here are just a few of John's photographs:

Star Lane Brickfield in 2000 Little Wakering Hall St Mary Parish Church, Little Wakering St Nicholas Parish Church, Great Wakering Barling Creek A Nude Photoshoot in an undisclosed location One of John's Ultralight Aircraft that he has owned.