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Burgh's flying cat honoured

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Bird-and-Bruce-wTHE exploits of a Helensburgh cat which joined an RAF crew during the Second World War have been recognised with a bravery award.

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals charity awarded a special posthumous commendation to Pyro, which was adopted by Wallasey photographer Bob Bird when he was stationed at the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment base at Helensburgh and Rhu.

The award for the only flying cat of that and any other war was presented to Bob’s son Robin and his wife Carla by TV newsreader and presenter Fiona Bruce at a recording of the popular BBC TV programme Antiques Roadshow.

Bird-with-Pyro-wThe filming was at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, and the programme was broadcast on the evening of Remembrance Sunday.

Pyro’s story was brought to the charity’s attention by retired Merseyside newspaper editor Robin, who has written two books about MAEE. One has been published and the next one will be published soon.

His late father served there as a photographer recording trials of experimental aircraft and weapons. Pyro (pictured left on Bob's knee) was a stray kitten who made his home in the base.

Robin said: “Pyro was a pussycat that Helensburgh can be proud of.”

  • Pyro's full story can be found here in the Military section of this website.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 November 2011 18:57 )  

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February Open Meeting

Robert-Ryan-wAt the February Open Meeting at Helensburgh Civic Centre on Wednesday February 27 Robert Ryan will give a canoeist's perspective of Loch Lomond.

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Wednesday September 26 — Bruce Jamieson: Developing the Mackintosh Club

Wednesday October 31 — AGM; then David Clark: How Helensburgh ended the Great War

Wednesday November 28 — Eric Thompson: Helensburgh and the Peace Movement

Wednesday January 30 — Trust members: brief talks on images of the past

Wednesday February 27 — Robert Ryan: Loch Lomond islands by canoe

Wednesday March 27 — Jon Reid: The Royal Northern Story

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