This club was founded for all ex-R.A.F. or Allied airmen, who as a result of burns had at least two plastic surgery operations by Sir Archibald McIndoe at East Grinstead.
In 1977 the club first visited the Atomic Energy Research Establishment (formerly the Aerodrome), afterwards dining at the Royal British Legion Club. In the following year the assembly point was the White Hart Harwell which had become a tradition by 1985. The White Hart runs a darts knockout, which with sponsorship donations and an auction makes a fund to help those members who now find that age is adding to their disabilities.
Originally the club had about 650 members, of which about fifty have visited Harwell, many making repeat visits. “Guinea Pig Club” plaques have been presented to the Royal British Legion Club, the White Hart, the Atomic Energy Research Establishment and Harwell Village Church.
Eric Stanley Greenwood
An Air Ace from Harwell. Eric Stanley Greenwood, O.B.E. lived at the Harwell Brewery. Educated at King Alfred’s School, Wantage, he held a short-service commission in the R.A.F. from 1928-33. He became Assistant Test Pilot at Armstrong Whitworth in 1937 and Chief Test Pilot at Air Service Training Hamble during the war, flying many English and American planes. He had a reputation for daredevil flying and often flew over the village giving spectacular displays, which frightened his mother. In 1944 he became Chief Test Pilot at Gloster Aircraft flying the first Meteors and was the first in the UK to exceed 600 mph.
In 1970, he retired to his farm in Gloucestershire and died suddenly in February 1979, aged seventy. Eric visited Harwell in about 1934-35 in DH 60G3, landing in a sloping field along the Grove Road. The wings were folded, and the aircraft pushed down the village, where it was housed in the roadside black barn at Bishop’s Manor Farm. The whole village turned out to see him leave. The procession, led by the village “Bobby” would have looked funny by modern standards.