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1 December, 2003

Those magnificent men in their crashing machines

This story in The Guardian proves that the age of the British eccentric isn't quite dead - nowadays he (and it usually is a 'he') simply makes a documentary. One could easily transfer the whole account back a century - it has all the essential elements: a long-term obsession; journalistic interest in (to the journalist) a whimsical, even trivial subject; a project driven by enthusiastic (but certainly not in an excitable way) amateurs; a degree of patriotism; rigid understatement; and several silly names.

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