Vic Hutfield

Transcript of a BBC radio recording, dated 11 April 1958


Interviewer: Purely by chance, really that Gosport didn’t put itself firmly on the map as the first place in Britain from which an aeroplane took off to fly the English Channel. I will come to that in a minute when I present one of the men who very nearly pulled it off. He is Mr Victor Hutfield, farmer, builder, special constable for 34 years but above all, pioneer motorcar, motorcycle engineer and constructor of aircraft. Now tell me how did it all come about Mr Hutfield. How did you come to take an interest in aircraft?


Vic: Well my first job when I started in business by myself, a naval officer, which he was from Fort Blockhouse, come to me and asked if I could build the steelwork for an aeroplane, which I did. Well there was at that time there was four naval officers building machines, this was one of these machines, the trouble was get an aeroplane engine at that time. One had a 20 hp Alfa car engine fitted but you see was too heavy for the job. Lt Porte’s machine, which I constructed, he had two 12 hp J.A.P. engines, propeller of that was chain driven. Of course that didn’t turn out exactly as it should do, well as I understood any way. Well some time afterwards, I and three others got interested in flying; we built a machine and had it at Grange Field. That had a French Lascelles engine, which that again was not satisfactory……….. Very experimental for about 18 months. At one time a young fellow, very light young fellow he was very interested and used to come into the hangar quite a lot, we allowed him to try his hand to get the machine up you see. Well that wasn’t satisfactory. After about 18 months we packed it up.


Interviewer: Did the young man ever get anywhere in his flying career?


Vic: Oh yes, when the Royal Flying Corps was formed he joined up; he finished up Air Vice Marshal name of LYWOOD.


Interviewer:  It shows that he had it in his blood anyway.


Vic: Oh yes, Oh yes, very keen young chap.


Interviewer: Grange field has been in existence ever since of course.


Vic: Oh yes, yes.


Interviewer:  Is it one scheduled to be closed down?


Vic: Oh yes, yes. It is to be closed finally on May 6th.


Interviewer: Are you taking part in any of the ceremonies, having been so much in at the beginning?


Vic: Well, I’ve got an invitation to go to the ceremony yes.


Interviewer: Well, that is interesting, spanning all those years. When were your first experiments, about the time of Bleriot?


Vic: About 1909.


Interviewer:  Thank you Mr Hutfield. Now would you choose a piece of music for us?


Vic: Well as I was a farmer once, we will say ‘To Be A Farmers Boy’.


Interviewer:  Very suitable.


This an actual recording
of Vic in 1958

If the audio fails to play or is difficult to understand please click here.