Monday, 10 August 2009

Park Hall Country Park

In 1985, Steven Winkworth made the first large scale flying model of Pteranodon, which he flew over the Dorset Coast. The model was used in the BBC television program - Pterodactylus flies. This event was published in New Scientist and in the national newspapers of the time, but outside of the world of pterosaur enthusiasts it is not a well known event.
This weekend I walked at Park Hall Country Park in Staffordshire. Having popped into the visitor centre for an ice cream I was confronted by a painting of the Steven Winkworth flying model on the wall in front of me.
The painting was done by Christopher Guest some 5 years ago, when he worked for the Community Art Team of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, run by Paul Bailey. The wall painting is quite a faithful representation of the model, as can be seen from the photographs. What an unusual find!
This small exhibit room boasts quite a few pterosaurs, like these Quetzalcoatlus soaring in the skies, perhaps over Stoke - who knows.

Park Hall is a site of special scientific interest for its glacial deposits and bedded gravels, as well as having a wide range of different biological habitats in close proximity. Not a place where you would expect to find Pterosaurs.

Winkworth S., 1985, Pteranodon Flies Again, New Scientist, 3 Jan 1985: p32-33.

Winkworth S., 1985, Pteranodon, Flug und Modelltechnik, 359, p990-993. Verlag fur Technik und Handwerk, Baden-Baden.

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