12 Mar 2018

By 356 to Bathurst

Friend Justin drove down from Sydney to Bathurst in the family 356 for the 12 hour race. That's the way it should be done. Not like wimps like Warren and myself in an airconditioned modern car.
Photo taken in the old gold mining town of Lucknor on the way back to Orange where we stayed.

10 Mar 2018



I know she is featured frequently but our 18 year old Himalayan, Phoebe, is just such a beautiful cat. She is so affectionate and she is still very photogenic. I really dread the day she is no longer with us.
Photo taken last week. She is in the cattery at the present time whilst I am away overseas. I hope that she is not missing me too much. I am missing her.

9 Mar 2018

Breakfast at Bathurst

There are times when traditional race circuit food-a bacon and egg roll for breakfast -goes down a treat and this was definitely the case at this year's Bathurst 12 hours. Supplies ready at dawn.

3 Mar 2018

Len and his bikes.

Len lives on my street a few houses away. He has a regularly changing collection of toys although this Harley 100th Anniversary Fat Boy is one of his long term keepers. I don't see much of Len as he is often away -usually on a long ride- but I was driving past his place yesterday when I saw him polishing the bike. So I went home and grabbed a camera and got this very Len shot.

Whilst I was there he showed me his latest toy-below. An electric bike which he had assembled from two discarded bikes he found in a pile of rubbish awaiting collection by the council in a nearby street. One of the bikes was electric bike in a very sorry condition. The other was a conventional bike also in a very sorry condition. From the two he assembled this one bike and all he had to buy was two new inner tubes and three new batteries-the expensive part. The electric bike originally had two batteries to give 24 volts. He has added a third battery so that it runs on 36 volts and it really moves although it is no lightweight.
Why monochrome? Harleys always look better in monochrome.

28 Feb 2018


The Manthey Porsche GT3RS of Dumas/Makowiecke/Werner coming down the mountain late in the afternoon at the 2018 Bathurst 12 hours. This car was in a very strong third position going into the final 20 mins with the two cars ahead very low on fuel. However a major crash up the mountain caused the race to be stopped at that time and the result declared. The car was then placed third however a time penalty for a driver time infringement- one driver overran his allowed time at the wheel-caused the car to be finally placed sixth.
This photo like all the others in my 2018 12 hour portfolio was taken with a Lumix FZ1000 -a so called bridge camera. In many ways it is a useful camera but it only has a relatively small 1" sensor and after the big sensors in my Leicas I am not totally happy with the image quality but I can understand how many people would be quite happy the camera.To be fair this shot is a big crop.
I find myself wishing that I had not sold my superb Canon EOS 70-200mm f2.8 lens and the 2x converter. That combination on a Canon EOS full frame digital body would be superb at the 12 hour race.

25 Feb 2018

The Driver

                Pensive. Audi Sport driver waiting for the next pit stop and driver change-8.22am Bathurst 12 hours, 2018 whilst watching the TV broadcast and data feed on monitors.

23 Feb 2018

Race strategy

Fifty years ago in F1 races and sports car races teams the driver's wives and/or girlfriends kept lap charts and did the timimg with mechanical stop watches. In the long distance races things were a little more formal for the top teams with designated timekeepers.
Electronic timing and lap scoring with the cars fitted with transponders changed the game about 30 years ago and now teams have access to massive amounts of data during the race. Lap scoring and timing for every car is available in real time.
This has changed the way race strategy is formulated for the teams. In the past the team manager made the call for fuel, tyre and driver change pit stops. They did this based on experience and a limited amount of data. Now teams have full time race strategists who use the available data and scenario prediction algorithms to determine the pit stop strategy. Unfortunately the best strategist in the world cannot predict safety car deployment and so at a race such as the Bathurst 12 hours race strategy is still a mix of science and luck.
Picture above the Objective Racing Mclaren's pit during the 2018 race.

21 Feb 2018

Top shot

Over the years I've taken a few photos of the five grandchildren. Nowadays I only keep the photos which I consider are really good and this one is definitely a keeper. For me it's one of my top grandchildren shots. Taken last Sunday it shows Otto intently watching his dad put together a solar powered robot. For me there are many things to like about the photo including the colour rendering and the skin tones
The photo was taken on the Leica Q as a jpeg with the camera set on low saturation and contrast and with the lens wide open at F1.7.

17 Feb 2018

Bathurst 12 hour action

More action photos from this year's Bathurst 12 hour race. The great thing about the Mount Panorama circuit is that there are so many great viewing points. For Warren and I this our fourth year at the 12 hour race and we now have a pattern for our spectating. We start at the topside of the last corner and watch the start in the dark and then we migrate on the inside of the track to what was known as Caltex Chase on Conrod straight for an hour or so. Then down to the food area in the paddock for a bacon and egg roll and a coffee.
This year we then watched the race from inside the first corner for a while before driving up the mountain. Whilst at the first corner an Audi went straight on after the pit straight at the very second I was putting the camera into my bag. It hit the wall hard and made a big mess-another safety car . I missed it all. By the time I looked up the dust was just settling-literally.
We spent a few hours walking and watching from the top of the mountain then back down again and into the paddock for food area for some refereshment and a look at the action in the pits before watching the last hour or so from the first corner.
It's a big day out and it involves a fair bit of walking but it's much more fun than staying at home and watching the race live on Channel 7 and there was live timing on my phone on the 12 hour race website which gave all the race positions in real time.

15 Feb 2018

Too hot, too long...

Too hot for me

Some people are never satisfied. We hate the mild Australian winter because it is too cold and now when summer comes we're whinging again. But I reckon that we have some justification this year. It's hot and humid here on the Central Coast in summer-that's a fact. But not usually so hot for so long and with such day after day high humidity. Yesterday according to my electronic weather station it was 27ºC at 6.30am with  92% humidity. The water temperature in the pool at midday was 30ºC-hardly refreshing and the temperature in the shade was 35ºC
This couple were on the beach at Terrigal on Tuesday mid morning. It was so hot on the sand whilst I was taking the photo that I could feel the heat through the thick rubber soles of my sandals.
A cool change came through last night and it has lowered the temperature somewhat but it was only a very short respite and the temperature and humidity are already climbing this morning.
Our poor very old Himalayan cats are really suffering. I try to put the fan on them as much as possible but Phoebe who really has a thick coat is a very unhappy lady. Some people give their Himalayans so called Lion cuts in summer but ours just would not cooperate and they would be so stressed we would not attempt it.
I am almost tempted to say roll on winter.

Too hot for Phoebe

13 Feb 2018

On yer bike....

Most early mornings nowadays I see Riley, the unicycle rider, pedalling along the Terrigal seafront. A month or so ago he bought an all terrain unicycle so now he can venture off road. He tells me he has been unicycling for over ten years and that it is difficult to learn-a statement of the obvious-particularly getting on.
The sodium street lights put out a very pervasive yellow colour cast which I cannot fix in Lightroom so in a break with my usual practice I have converted the shots to black and white.

11 Feb 2018

Morning has broken....

Even more spectacular sunrise than usual at Terrigal, Central Coast of NSW, Australia today, 11th February. The watchers are not dangling on the cliff edge. It is above a lower ledge and quite safe. 
Photo taken with my LeicaX1. The perfect camera for an early morning walk.

8 Feb 2018

Safety car blues

A sight seen too often in the 2018 Bathurst 12 hours-the safety car board and a yellow flag.

One of the disappointments of last weekend Bathurst 12 hour GT race was the number of safety car deployments particularly in the first 6 hours of the race. Some of the deployments were to recover cars which had stopped out on the circuit due to mechanical failure but most were for accidents. The mixture of widely varying levels of driver experience, car speed differentials and the very demanding and unforgiving track leads to many accidents.
Going back 20 years or more they did not have the safety car system at Bathurst and when an ambulance or a tow truck was out on the track the drivers merely had to slow down on the yellow flags around the incident and as they passed the ambulance or tow truck. It was a very dangerous system.
Now as soon as an incident occurs the safety car goes out and picks up the leader and then leads the field around at a reduced pace until the incident is cleared. The disadvantage of the safety car system is that it bunches up the field so in an endurance race a driver can work up a decent lead and it immediately evaporates when the safety car comes out. Secondly the safety car introduces an element of chance in the timing of pit stops. A team can make a pit stop for a driver change fuel and tyres and next lap the safety car comes out and a rival team can pit under the safety car and lose much less track time.
I cannot see any alternative to the safety car system imperfect though it is. It has made the racing much safer. My only real whinge with the safety car process on Sunday was that sometimes it looked as if the safety car should have come off a lap earlier.

A very bad day at the Mountain.
The driver of this Marc sports car - an Australian special-had a really bad 12 hour. In fact he did not make the first lap ! He hit the wall up the top of the Mountain right after the start so we had the safety car out for the first racing lap. Imagine the atmosphere in this team's pit. All that effort and money to get the car into the race and this happens. Of course it may well not have been the driver's fault. He could have been nudged but that would not have eased the pain. But at least their Adelaide Panel Repair sponsor will come in useful - although I suspect the damage may well be beyond repair

5 Feb 2018

A great weekend

Just back from a really great weekend at Mount Panorama, Bathurst for the 12hour GT race yesterday. I had a really good time. The weather was kind this time unlike last year when we fried. It was cold first thing Sunday morning-see photo bottom-but warmed upto a very warm but not too hot day. The race was good although too many safety car deployments in the first half were frustrating.  We were eagery anticipating a dash to the wire at the end when 3 cars had a massive accident up the mountain and the race was stopped with 15 mins to run. It could easily have been a Porsche victory but when the race was declared the winner was an Audi R8 followed by a Mercedes AMG GT3 and two Porsche 911s. A good day for the Germans.
It was great to catch up with so many old friends and to make some new ones. Thanks to Justin Reed and Warren Starr-pictured below-for being such good company. As I was lying in the Royal North Shore Hospital last August barely able to walk after my major operation I would never have thought that 5 months later I would be walking all over Mount Panorama watching the 12 hours for all 12 hours and loving it. Thanks to every one who helped me recover so well.

I tried out a Lumix FZ1000 a-a camera apparently well suited to action photography. I did not take a Leica but I wished that I had. I came back with some good photos from the Lumix but as last year's photos show- see header photo for example- I would have done better with a Leica.

31 Jan 2018

Darkest Hour

I went to see the movie, Darkest Hour, at the cinema this morning. It is superb. Highly recommended.
The cinematography is stunning and so are the settings. You almost think that you are inside the palace in the Buck House scenes. Gary Oldman is quite extraordinary as Churchill. I felt that I was actually watching Churchill himself in a wartime newsreel. Surely an Oscar winning performance.
To me it was weird seeing the scenes and thinking how all this happened only 6 years before I was born.
When I first went to primary school in Putney in south London the school was brand new as the old school had been bombed and the area around the school was populated by prefabricated homes -prefabs as they were known-and bomb sites. I remember that even in 1955 they were still grim times but I did not appreciate the deprivation and terror my mother who stayed in Putney through the blitz had been through.
I had my personal encounter with Churchill or at least his coffin in January 1965. During my gap year between leaving school and going to university I was working at Barclays Bank Borough High Street branch in Southwark just over London Bridge. I had to work on the Saturday morning of Churchill's funeral and I was on London Bridge when his coffin was loaded onto a boat at the Tower of London and came down the river to Waterloo. See the photo below. I had bought a half frame camera to work that day. I think it belonged to my brother. I cannot remember the brand but I suspect it was either an Olympus or a Ricoh. Half frame gave 72 photos on a 36 exposure roll of 35mm film. I was using Kodak Plus-X film I can see from the negatives. It was probably in the camera when I borrowed it. Being London in January it was pretty gloomy and I force processed the film to push up the ISO or ASA as it was then known.
The slow passage of the boat carrying the coffin was a most impressive sight and all the dockside cranes had their jibs lowered as a mark of respect.
Now all the docks have moved way down the river so it is a scene which will never be repeated.
A few seconds after I took this photo a V formation of RAF English Electric Lightning jet fighters flew overhead and I took a photo of them over the flotilla. It is a great photo but I put the negative in a safe file and I have mislaid it!

My journey home that day took me my usual route by foot to London Bridge Station where I caught a train to Waterloo Station on a little back line. I then caught a train home to Ewell in Surrey where I then lived.
When I came onto the concourse at Waterloo I was surprised to find that my suburban train was on the next platform to the train which was carrying Chuchill's coffin and the funeral party to Oxfordshire where he was going to be buried in the churchyard at Bladon.
The funeral train departed just ahead of mine but we soon passed it and I took the photos below of the engine and also the wagon carrying the flag draped coffin which is just visible. Spectators are on the balconies of the public housing block behind the train.
So that's my personal connection to the Darkest Hour. The quality of the photos leaves a lot to be desired but they had a difficult birth and like most of us they are showing their age.

Photos are the IP of the author and may not be used in any media without approval.

30 Jan 2018


Dawn at Terrigal Beach this morning 30th Jan. Another sizzling hot,steamy day coming up. Relief is forecast for tonight after a very long hot and humid spell which started so long ago that I have forgotten when.
We and the cats need a break. Lawns are brown, plants and people are wilting.
I am off to Bathurst for the 12 hour race this weekend. The great news is that the Bathurst weather for Sunday is forecast to be just 24ºC and sunny. A great relief after the last two weeks and the 40ºC+ temps we experienced there last year.

28 Jan 2018

The Pavlova makers

Granddaughters, Poppy and Scarlett, assembling our Australia Day pavlova on Australia Day -26th January. Pavlova is a traditional NZ and Australian dessert named after a Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who toured the two countries in the 1920s. It was invented in New Zealand but has been adopted by both countries. It consists of a meringue base layered with whipped cream and topped with a sauce and strawberries or as it is now out of the strawberry season raspberries and blueberries.
Here's Poppy below with the finished pavlova she helped assemble on Christmas Day.

19 Jan 2018

More Formula E

There are three structural components in a Formula E car. The monocoque from the front to the bulkhead behind the driver is from Dallara and is mandated - standard on all cars; as is the front suspension, all the bodywork including aerodynamic appendages and rear crash structure, and all four wheels and tyres. Behind the driver is the battery pack and control electronics which is a structural member. The battery pack and control electronics are also mandated and currently come from Williams Advanced Engineering. (Next season batteries with more capacity from McLaren Technologies replace the current pack.) Bolted on to the back of the battery pack is the motor(s), drive train (some cars do not have gearboxes because of the torque from an electric motor), and rear suspension, all of which is non-mandated - i.e. proprietary - and varies from team to team - some use single motors, some dual.

The battery pack is immensely powerful. Peak output is 200 kilo watts, which is a serious amount of power. This necessitates special safety requirements. Lithium batteries not only pack a punch but they also emit flames if pierced. So the inside of the battery pack is made of zylon which is 1.6 times stronger than kevlar. If you look closely at the Dragon car in photo 4 of my article you will see a green light on ahead of the cockpit and an obscured green sign on the roll hoop which says 'Green Light On'. This means the car is safe to touch. If any of the electronics go open circuit as a result of a crash the light turns red and the marshals must not touch the car until the electronics are made safe. 

The photo above which was not used in the article highlights the safety concerns graphically. Electrocution causes the hand of the person being shocked to lock - so if a mechanic gets 200kW through their hand they cannot let go of the car. In the photo the battery pack is being worked on. So not only is the mechanic wearing protective gear, but the rules require another mechanic to stand behind him with a yellow plastic hook - seen in my photo - which is used in the event of electrocution to literally drag victim off the car.  

They may not sound like racing cars but there is much of interest in a Formula E car, and I don't think the story about them has been told very well.

Next year - season 5 - Formula E has a new 'standard' car from Dallara  which is very futuristic.See photo below.
 Spark is the French company that actually services the teams - provides the parts to Dallara's specs. At Marrakesh one team shunted their car in qualifying and crushed the nose. The mechanic trotted off to the Spark shipping container/shop with a credit card and bought a new nose. They don't paint the cars, the colour schemes are all vinyl wrap applied with a heat gun to fit it to contours. Note the season 5 car does not use the controversial 'halo' adopted by F1, instead it uses a raised windshield.

16 Jan 2018

Electrifying Marrakesh-Formula E

I have never seen a FormulaE -electric racing formula race so I am not really qualified to comment on it but my brother went to the Formula E ePrix in Marrakesh, Morocco last weekend and he has kindly let me use his story and photos. Formula E is gaining traction with many of the world's leading car manufacturers including Porsche already entering or about to field cars in the series. Over to my brother's story.
 Crosby, Stills and Nash's 1969 Marrakesh Express famously sung the praises of "Colored cottons hang in air, Charming cobras in the square, Striped Djellebas we can wear at home" and half a century later that image of Marrakesh as a city agreeably stuck in a touristic time warp remains. Which could not be further from the truth. Yesterday I attended the Marrakesh ePrix at which the accompanying photos were taken. This is an international race for cars that superficially resemble their more familiar Formula One counterparts but which differ radically under the bodywork, because they are 100% electric powered.
 Formula E, which races in many major cities including Hong Kong, New York and Berlin, is a laudable attempt by motor sport to clean up its environmental credentials. The standard objection that electric cars require fossil fuel to generate their electricity is overcome by using specially commissioned generators that run on glycerine which is a byproduct of bio-diesel, to recharge the cars. The generators are transported with the cars and associated kit from race to race using transport that minimises the resulting carbon footprint. Other environmentally aware policies include limiting the number of team personnel at races and eliminating the lavish hospitality facilities that are a feature of Formula One. To cap costs and limit competitive advantage many parts are common to all cars, including the chassis (monocoque), bodywork and battery pack. View video of Marrakesh ePrix highlights via this link. C

The Noor Ouarzazate Solar Complex in the Moroccan Sahara came on stream in 2016 and when completed will be the world's largest concentrated solar plantwith the potential to power one million homes. Marrakesh has a fleet of Chinese manufactured buses. Renault and Peugeot both plan to build electric vehicles in Morocco, as does Chinese corporation BYD which has a 13% share of the global electric vehicle market. One of the teams competing in the Marrakesh ePrix was NIO backed by the eponymous Chinese electric autonomous vehicle manufacturer, while the winning car came from the team of  Indian auto and technology company Mahindra - see photo below.

As can be seen in some of the photos, 52% of the Moroccan population is under 25 and they are raring to go places. Preconceptions about charming cobras in the square and about the perils of majority-Muslim nations need to be ditched before the West is caught napping. And it is not just the President of the United States who is guilty of damaging preconceptions about countries beyond Western comfort zones. While taking these photos a Moroccan boy of about ten tapped me on the shoulder and proffered a bottle of water. I waved him away brusquely, thinking he was an urchin trying to make a few dirhams by selling refilled bottles. But he persisted and finally explained by sign language that the bottle had fallen out of my daypack a few minutes earlier.

11 Jan 2018

The photographer as a young man....

My brother,who lives in the UK, recently sent me this photo from his archives. It is a scan of a print as the original negative was probably lost years ago. It shows me, Mr Rolling Road. It was taken at Ramp Bend at the Crystal Palace motor racing circuit in South London. We do not know the year but I guess 1964 or 1965.
Crystal Palace was a short, tight little circuit but what great racing I enjoyed there through the 60s with my brother and our friends. My association with the Palace started in 1956 when my grandfather took me at the age of 10 to my first ever motor race meeting there. I never knew why my grandfather took me there. He had no interest in cars-he did not own a car and he could not drive. But from the moment we arrived trackside and I saw the first race-for Formula 3 500cc single seaters -I was hooked.
Through the 1960s a group of us would try and go to the two annual big Bank Holiday meetings at the circuit every year. We would catch an early train to the station located right next to the circuit by Anerley Ramp. We would bring our lunches-mine was invairably cheese and pickle sandwiches-and we would set up our pitch looking down onto Ramp Bend. It was always the same spot-down to the last inch. The crowds were huge and getting your pitch early and standing your ground was really important.
The spectator area at that part of the circuit looked down on the track and there was an excellent view of an exciting part of the track although arguably most of the track was exciting.

The crowds were so big because the racing was fabulous. It may have been a short track but it attracted the stars-at every big meeting. In those days the F1 drivers would race at a European F1 GP on the Sunday and then fly back to the UK overnight and turn out at Crystal Palace on the Monday morning racing in a F2 car and probably a touring car.
I clearly remember seeing Jochen Rindt -whom we had never heard of- beat Jim Clark and a star studded field in only his second race in the UK.
They all turned out at Crystal Palace. Jim Clark, John Surtees, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Jacky Ickx, Jack Brabham, Bruce Mclaren, Denny Hulme and Innes Ireland to name just a few.
Imagine today's prima donna formula 1 drivers turning out on a Monday morning after an F1 GP to race around a tight little circuit in the suburbs of London. No way. It was a different time.

And it was not just the the F1 stars who turned on the great races. Crowd favourites were the saloon cars - as touring cars were then known-with David and Goliath battles between Minis and big Jaguar saloons and later Ford Falcons and Galaxies. The big cars would pass the Minis down the straights only to be overtaken through the corners by the Minis usually cornering on two wheels and one of the spectator's favourite Mini drivers was a lady, Christabel Carlisle. It was the best of times. But by the 1970s the track was deemed too dangerous and in any case the large sports centre built infield eventually swamped the track. The last race meeting was held in 1972.
I was very fortunate to have experienced the Palace's golden years of racing-the 1960s.

Now one thing our favourite spectating spot was not good for was taking action photos - particularly with a camera with a standard lens fitted. The camera in the photo is my Exa SLR which I purchased in 1962 for a hard earned £12.10s from a camera shop in Epsom, Surrey. That's approx £370 in today's terms. It was not at all suitable for racing action shots so I cannot imagine why I had it there.
The Exa was not my first camera. That was a small metal camera called the Halina 35X which had the shape of a Leica and even had a red dot-before Leica started putting red dots on their cameras.

One of my school teachers had initiated my interest in photography and very fortunately a work colleague of my fathers was a keen photographer and he bought the UK magazine, Amateur Photographer, every week and passed it onto me via my father after he had read it. I certainly would not have been able to have afforded the magazine every week myself and neither could my parents. Everything I learned about photography in the early days I learnt from the school teacher and Amateur Photographer magazine.

My parents gave me the Halina as my 12th birthday present in 1958. It was apparently made in China although on the baseplate it said Made in Hong Kong. This was because Hong Kong was a British colony at the time and products made in Hong Kong came into the UK duty free.
The Halina served me well. I learned how to process black and white films and print in my home darkroom-actually the only bathroom in my home-an in conveniece arrangement.
At that time I had a school friend, Graham Downie, whose parents were to my eyes very wealthy -they owned a Ford Consul -a big deal in our suburb- and they gave him a German made SLR camera -an Edixa -for a birthday present. I really liked the features and feel of that Edixa and it made me yearn for an SLR and interchangeable lenses. So I sold the Halina to another friend and snapped up a bargain-an Exa SLR. Now I cannot find a photo of my model of Exa so I suspect that it was one of a run of a base spec model sold at a low price point. Exas where the junior model to the esteemed Exakta cameras made by Ihagee in Dresden in what was then East Germany.
Exaktas were very well made and this quality extended to the Exas. Mine was very well made but it did lack specification. The mirror was part of the shutter and this meant that there were only 2 shutter speeds, if I remember correctly, 1/30th and 1/175th. The lens was a 50mm f2.9 Meyer with an Exakta mount. To keep the cost down it only had a wait level viewfinder. When I bought it I had thoughts of buying Exakta lenses and a prism eyelevel viewfinder but, of course, reality intervened and I never did.
I used the Exa for 5 years until I part exchanged it for a Leica 3A at a camera shop in Reading in 1967.

I had not used the Exa so much. I was at university for some of the years I owned it and there were many distractions there from photography and nowhere convenient to process and print the film. I cannot remember feeling limited by the rather odd specification of the Exa and particularly the lack of shutter speeds. I guess in those days I just appreciated what I had and there were no blog sites and forums telling me what a crock of s..t I had bought. Times have changed.

6 Jan 2018

Oh, to be a cloud.....

"Oh, to be a cloud floating in the sky." Beautiful clouds out at sea from Terrigal. Taken from the balcony of my home.
These clouds reminded me of a book I read at primary school-I must have been eleven. It was a fiction book set in the mid 1930's about a passenger plane - a De Havilland Rapide -which took off on a routine flight from Croydon Airport to Paris. At the time Croydon was London's airport. The passengers were very well dressed as only the wealthy flew in those days. One passenger was wearing a bowler hat and carrying a tightly furled umbrella which I find highly plausible.  Anyway on this fictional flight the plane became lost in towering clouds and the pilot became disorientated. As the plane was in danger of running out of fuel he chose to descend and land in a field somewhere in mid France. The story then went on to describe the adventures of the passengers as they tried to get back to Paris.
I remember being totally hooked on the book with its description of early civil aviation and in particular the pilot's efforts to find his way. I must have read it half a dozen times. There would have been no such problems for any planes flying through or around these clouds over Terrigal.
If planes fascinate you, as they still do me, I recommend you download the FlightRadar24 App on iPhone or iPad which allows you to see flight paths in realtime all over the globe. It is a superb app and it is FREE. Now when I hear a plane overhead I turn on the app and it immediately shows me the flight details, the aircraft and its registration number and even a live view from the cockpit for many flights.  It even tells you the scheduled time for the flight's departure, the actual time it departed and the scheduled and forecast arrival time.
 If the Russian missile crew in Ukraine had had the app they would have known that the plane overhead was Malaysian Airlines MH370 and they would have spared so many innocent lives although maybe they did have the app and they knew exacly what they were doing.
Croydon Airport remained in limited use until 1959 and I can vaguely recollect seeing the abandoned buildings from a nearby main road sometime in the 1960s. Croydon was replaced by what started out as the rather grandly named Great West Aerodrome on Heathrow Farm to the west of London which became today's Heathrow Airport. My father took me by underground train and bus to Heathrow field in I guess 1953. The plan was for me to see some planes taking off and landing but much to my disappointment we were there for two hours and not a plane moved! I can still remember that there were two DC3s and an Avro York standing on the tarmac and that was it. What a contrast to Heathrow today.