I have been very busy these past few days, with no time to post again on the topic of the sponsons. Now I'm in the clear for an evening and can write - though Steve's latest post adds more than I can.Renegadenemo wrote:An armoured personnel carrier was coming in to be fitted with a Vickers gas turbine engine later in the week and the projects man wanted rid of the sponsons so he asked Ken if they could dispose of them. Ken asked for suggestions and was told that Coley's wagon was coming next day to haul away the unwanted gnat fuselage for scrap and he readily assented to the sponsons joining it. So the next day the whole kit and caboodle was loaded on the wagon and away it went. Our man is getting on but still bright as a button and matter of factly states he had the discussion with Ken having asked phoned Margaret to ask if he could go up and see him, helped put the sponsons on the wagon next day then watched the scrap leave the yard bound for Coleys. No reason to doubt him and a level of detail and first-hand knowledge that's tough to argue with.
First off though, Bill, your chap's "first-hand knowledge that's tough to argue with" is very easy to argue with indeed, because for one thing - as Steve has now pointed out - the Gnat aircraft that was sacrificed for K7 was never at Ditchling. So if your chap says he saw that aircraft go off as scrap to Coley's Yard, with the sponsons on the same wagon, he either had very poor eyesight or he has a very iffy memory now.
He couldn't have seen what wasn't there, surely?
But Steve has beaten me to it with another point ... namely, was Ken Norris so callous as to dispatch him (Steve) on a wild goose chase to locate K7's sponsons in October 1989 when he (Ken) knew full well that he himself had issued the instruction for the sponsons to be sent off for scrapping at Coley's the next day, years earlier?
Ken would never have done such a thing. If he knew they had been scrapped - which, of course, he would do if he was the one who ordered them to be scrapped - but, perhaps, wanted to keep the fact to himself, he could simply have said to Steve, "My men have searched high and low for those sponsons and it seems they have disappeared". He would not have sent Steve searching for something he knew wasn't there.
It would have been a rotten trick to play - and unnecessary, to boot, as well as being totally out of character for Ken.
Anyway, why would Ken have brought up the subject of the sponsons in the first place? Steve wasn't looking for them, so why not let sleeping dogs lie? It was Ken who brought the subject up in the first place, October 1989 - immediately following an early Quicksilver meeting with me - and Ken then contacted Steve and asked him to go and try to find them.
And you say there were witnesses, too, to Ken issuing the "scrap them" instruction - so this just makes it all the more implausible that Ken would then issue a further order, years later, for a trusted aide and ally (Steve) to go and search for the blessed things ... because there would be people (Margaret and the chap with a memory "as bright as a button") who could so easily give the game away and make Ken look a right liar.
I will write more later tonight. The new "witness" has a memory like Swiss cheese.