Mick Martin speaking at RI 1981 Christmas Lecture

Mick Martin speaking about the Dams Raid at the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 1981. 

The Christmas Lectures at London’s Royal Institution have been a seasonal staple in the BBC TV schedule for years – perhaps more popular with adults than children. This enchantingly low tech example comes from the 1981 series, given by Professor R V Jones of the University of Aberdeen. At the beginning of the war, Jones had moved from his job at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough to the Air Ministry where he became Assistant Director of Intelligence (Science).

Jones’s series of lectures were on the subject of navigation and entitled “From Magna Carta to Microchip”. The fifth lecture, which can be seen here in full, discussed navigation techniques during the second world war. One of the guest demonstrators during the lecture was none other than the recently retired Air Marshal Sir Harold Martin, who was of course much better known to the public as “Mick” Martin, the pilot of AJ-P on the Dams Raid.

It is good to see Mick looking hale and hearty. Professor Jones’s lecturing technique may not be of the highest order, but the whole reminds us that we don’t always need more modern presentational gimmicks to get a message across.

[Thanks to Norman Wells and PPRuNe for the tip.]


7 thoughts on “Mick Martin speaking at RI 1981 Christmas Lecture

  1. Birchall December 31, 2020 / 3:34 pm

    M martin with the wood triangle dann sight the type RAF farnborough developed as IJJohnston bomb aimed talked about training with you tube also described inRAF branch report operation chastise a string and wax pencil markes aiming was developet on base the Y shape was made for the cinema film

  2. Sentley Wilson December 31, 2020 / 4:18 pm

    Magna Carta I understand. Microchip less so. I still remember teletext. Happy 2021 to all.

    • Rob December 31, 2020 / 5:05 pm

      Ha ha, i remember teletext. It’s what your telly did when you went to bed

  3. Tony Knight December 31, 2020 / 4:43 pm

    Prof Jones was a very, very eminent man in wartime intelligence, his book ‘Most Secret War’ was an absolute classic. Great stuff !

  4. Rob December 31, 2020 / 5:12 pm

    I’m still waiting for the chat Mr Johnson did in the Vulcan To The Sky hangar a few years ago now to appear on dvd somewhere. It was a great evening. First Martin Withers had us laughing with his story of how he ended up flying the mission to bomb Stanley Airfield and then we sat and listened to Mr Johnson tell us about his dambuster raid. It was filmed by ‘his people’ as the VTTS informed me.
    You can watch Martin’s talk here on youtube. Mr Johnson clearly sat paying attention alongside Martin. It really was a good night well worth the two hour drive to attend!

    • Mohne all the time. January 5, 2021 / 10:46 am

      Thank you for your comments on the Vulcan night. We managed to arrange two nights with Johnny and Martin and it was a great combination from two people who were part of two of the most audacious raids carried out by the RAF, together, in the same room both describing their missions nearly 40 years apart. The event also raised a significant amount of money for the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln and also the Vulcan To The Sky Trust.

  5. Chris Leworthy December 31, 2020 / 5:18 pm

    Very interesting and thanks for that. MM comes over as cool, calm and almost ridiculously matter of fact. Dropped it 50ft, tore most of the tail plane away, so went up to 60…….. please!!

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