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Blast Off at Woomera

Hugh Walters

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Science fiction (Children's / Teenage)

If the ladder hadn't slipped when Chris Godfrey was chalking up the sports results - and if Sir George Benson hadn't been passing at that very moment - it might never have happened.

It had become imperative to fire a conscious human being into space and Sir George, who was Director of Research at Woomera, couldn't see how it was to be done until he met Chris. Once Chris agreed, things moved fast. Whisked to London by the R.A.F., he started his training, was fitted for a G-suit, got to know the landscape of the Moon as well as he knew the school sports ground. Then on to Woomera; and, at last, into space...

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Hugh Walters

Hugh Walters was a prolific writer of science fiction stories. Whilst his principle target audience was teenagers, his combination of genuine science about the solar system with adventure and suspense thrown in, made him popular with a wider spectrum of readers.

Born Walter Llewellyn Hughes on 15th June 1910 in Bilston, Staffordshire, the eldest of four children of Walter Martin and Kate Hughes. He was educated at Dudley Grammar School and as a young man was an enthusiastic Scoutmaster. Most of his working life was as Managing Director of Bradsteds, a light engineering factory in Bradley. His interest in space travel began when he and his son attended the meetings in Birmingham of The British Interplanetary Society in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Throughout his adult life he was an active Rotarian, a Justice of the Peace, and spent many years as a Councillor in Local Government in Bilston and Wolverhampton. His father had been an Alderman and Mayor of Bilston in 1937.

He married, first, Doris Higgins on 23rd April 1934. They had two children, Walter Frederick and Gillian Doris. His wife, Doris, died on 3rd September 1965. He married his second wife, Susan Elizabeth, in 1978. Walter Llewellyn Hughes died on 13th January 1993, survived by Susan and his two children.

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