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 Seeking information about a picture of an MG
 JB 3417 and Mr.Ruddle of the Reading Aero Club
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tjackson

Australia
105 Posts

Posted - 26/05/2016 :  05:07:12  Show Profile
I am looking for information on Mr. G.B. Ruddle of the Reading Aero Club, Woodley Reading (1934) and subsequently of Castle Hotel, Benson (1935). He purchased J4281 new through Squire’s Motors, Henley-on-Thames in January 1934. Any information on Mr Ruddle or his swept wing J2 with registration JB 3417 much appreciated.

The service files show that J4281 was returned to the factory on 14/2/35 for test, speedo reading 12317. Service Test Report: Click from rear axle rear wheel loose. Backlash in rear axle excessive. Clutch centre loose on splines. Back lash in gearbox excessive.

Was the J2 transmission loosened up by hard trialling or just hard driving around the airfield, as 12317 miles in 13 months would appear to be a good distance for 1934? On 7 June 1898 at Oakham, G.B. Ruddle bowled Brown for 4 and was caught for 17. Could this be the same Mr. Ruddle? The Reading Aero Club was the location of the 1931 impromptu aerobatic display by Douglas Bader when he famously crashed and lost his legs. Was Mr Ruddle related to Ruddles Brewery in Longham which was recently sold to Abingdon based Morland and Company who make Old Speckled Hen? Squire’s Motors has strong MG connections.

J4281 in the 1960s


This request is a continuation of a previous thread (http://www.triple-mregister.org/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7246) that has yielded unexpected results, so fingers crossed that there is more information out there to be found.

Mike the M

United Kingdom
481 Posts

Posted - 27/05/2016 :  12:20:32  Show Profile
Nothing of him in Cowbourne for the major trials!

Mike Dalby
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Vitesse

United Kingdom
234 Posts

Posted - 29/05/2016 :  14:13:57  Show Profile
Your Mr Ruddle isn't the cricketer. The only GB Ruddle who had a Royal Aero Club cert was one Geoffrey Benskin Ruddle, who claimed to have been born in Weymouth on January 13th 1909. This is him:





And here's the record of when he passed to fly solo:






I say 'claimed' because according to the 1911 census he was actually born in West Moors, near Wimborne, the son of Geoffrey and Esther Ruddle. His father is described as being of private means, but there's no obvious geographical connection to the Rutland brewers, since he was born in Wiltshire and his wife in Dorset. OTOH, given the second name of Benskin (another old brewing family, based in Watford) maybe there's something more there. Or it could just be a father with a wicked sense of humour! I once knew a chap who claimed to have been christened Bernard Arthur Leonard Stanley Albert Wood ...

The Ruddles lived at a house called 'Visalia' in Glenwood Road, West Moors, whence they moved in 1916 (source: http://www.westmoors-pc.gov.uk/West-Moors-PC/UserFiles/Files/WW1%20data/WEST%20MOORS%20RESIDENTS%20PROFILE%20INTERNET%20EDITION%20-%20BY%20%20ADDRESS.pdf ). Then, in 1926, there is a travel record for a 16-year-old Geoffrey Ruddle, bound for Australia - address 'Visalia', Tangmere, Chichester. Although this describes him as a farm hand, he seems to have been one of a party of three young men - so probably a bit of 'Empire and character building'. The house name would seem to prove it's the same family and thus the right man. His father seems to have made a similar trip to New Zealand between 1903 and 1907.

On January 5th 1934, only a month or so after gaining his flying cert, he was seriously injured in a flying accident in France - his American (lady) passenger, who (according to Flight) was the plane's owner, was killed.

quote:
5.1.1934 DH.60G Moth G-ABDV, E Frost, Paris-Orly

Hit electricity pylon on forced landing in bad weather, near Nevers, France

Miss Evelyn Frost (30) killed (American)

Geoffrey Benskin Ruddle injured (pilot)


Source: http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Accf1939.htm This incident and several other 1933-34 reports on his flying career can be found in the Flightglobal archive: https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/search.aspx?ArchiveSearchForm%24search=ruddle&ArchiveSearchForm%24fromYear=1933&ArchiveSearchForm%24toYear=1934&x=16&y=10 He seems to have not flown again afterwards.

Geoffrey Benskin Ruddle married Betty Margaret Tallyn later in 1934 in Wokingham. As you've noted, he (at least) seems to have been at the Castle Hotel in Benson in 1935-36. According to The Times their daughter was born there on March 1st 1935 - but oddly, I can't find a matching birth record on Ancestry!

They can both be found on the 1938 electoral roll at 63 Prince of Wales Mansions, London SW11. By 1947 they are at 77 Blandford St, Marylebone and in about 1960 they moved back to Prince of Wales Mansions SW11, this time at 75a! They seem to have left there in the early 1970s and perhaps retired to Dorset. According to their death notices in The Times they lived in Puncknowle in Dorset. Geoffrey Benskin Ruddle passed away 'peacefully' on January 24th 1993 and Betty Margaret Ruddle on September 27th 1999. There may even still be Ruddles in Puncknowle ... (Google is your friend!)
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sam christie

United Kingdom
3082 Posts

Posted - 29/05/2016 :  16:49:45  Show Profile
Splendid research Richard!

Sam
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tjackson

Australia
105 Posts

Posted - 30/05/2016 :  04:38:45  Show Profile
Wow Richard, that is brilliant, thank you so much for your efforts. And thanks Mike for looking up Cowbourne.
It is amazing how two otherwise unremarkable J2s have such a story to tell. This certainly gives us some more leads to follow.
Cheers & thank you so much again, Tim
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Vitesse

United Kingdom
234 Posts

Posted - 30/05/2016 :  15:15:56  Show Profile
Miss Frost, her dog and the plane .... http://www.europeana.eu/portal/record/2024904/photography_ProvidedCHO_TopFoto_co_uk_EU036407.html
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Loloche

France
1 Posts

Posted - 17/05/2019 :  16:42:53  Show Profile
Thanks you Richard. I m French, sorry for my "english", i learn english at school. I m a french writer ( Laurent Riviere, La Diagonale du Loup, Dans les Bras Morts ), et i live in the city who Miss Evelyn Frost and Geoffrey Ruddle were crashed in plane. In my city, Varennes-Vauzelles, there is a statue made by the sister of Evelyn Frost. Since my childhood ( enfance ), i love this statue and her story. I will be happy if you have some news of Miss Frost, her familly. I found newspaper french, et i think the picture of Geoffrey Ruddle and this identity paper you posted are interressant.
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Malcolm Eades

United Kingdom
379 Posts

Posted - 18/05/2019 :  08:46:45  Show Profile
Benskins was also a brewery (in Watford) until Ind Coope took over in 1957. There is definitely something beery about this chap!

Malcolm
M Type

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coracle

United Kingdom
1930 Posts

Posted - 18/05/2019 :  09:58:28  Show Profile
So was Ruddles originally in Langham; now the brand is owned by Green King.
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Vitesse

United Kingdom
234 Posts

Posted - 19/05/2019 :  17:09:36  Show Profile
A couple of updates on this.

Firstly, from his record on the 1939 Register, confirmation that Mr Ruddle was a licensee; I wonder if he was actually a brewery employee running 'managed houses', as most pub landlords would have lived 'over the shop'. Maybe even an area or relief manager? As noted above, he seems - given his names - to have been somewhat pre-destined to enter the licensed trade. And I would guess, given the geography, that he might well have worked for Morlands or Simonds before moving to London.

Secondly, Laurent and I have been exchanging emails about Miss Frost; he has sent me a French press report of the plane crash and I've managed to turn up quite a bit more information about her for him - I've even managed to find someone who may be her only living relative!
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Vitesse

United Kingdom
234 Posts

Posted - 20/05/2019 :  08:33:02  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Vitesse

Secondly, Laurent and I have been exchanging emails about Miss Frost; he has sent me a French press report of the plane crash and I've managed to turn up quite a bit more information about her for him - I've even managed to find someone who may be her only living relative!

And Laurent tells me this morning that they have successfully got in touch!

Ain't the internet wonderful?
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