Making a Sheep Dog Video

My flight to the International Sheepdog Trials


Producing Border Collie and sheepdog trial videos has been a major part of our work since 1988 when we traveled to Perthshire to produce our first International Sheepdog trial video at Blair Athol. It was the year when, the late, Meirion Jones won the final day. Border Collies and their work have remained an important part of the work of Rural Route Videos since that time.

So I made my way to Winnipeg and took the first leg of my flight to Toronto and then a short wait before catching my connecting flight to Heathrow.
Nowadays the planes have a screen up front and a big picture of where you’re going. On this flight from Toronto to London we had a nice big picture of Ontario, Quebec and Eastern Canada and then off to the right of the screen was the UK. A time clock showed, at the bottom of the screen, the hours and minutes remaining before touch down, and a wee plane was making very slow progress across the screen and heading towards our destination. I watched this little plane as it made its way on its journey from Toronto to London. I wondered whether this screen was there to make us feel better, more in tune with what was happening, or maybe it was there, I thought, Just in case the plane veered off course and someone was able to alert the hostess to some discrepency in the flight plan.
I watched patiently, anticipating the wee planes next minute movement. Between each movement I would recheck the numbers of the “time remaining” on the clock, at the bottom of the screen, just to make sure things were still going ahead as planned, and then I’d change my position in my seat to accommodate my weary and aching muscles. We had about two and a half hours left to London when something caught my attention. The wee plane, which I had been closely following, suddenly did a 180 degree turn and started heading back towards Canada! This most definitely caught my attention. I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed but pretty well everyone else was fast asleep. After all it was one in the morning, Toronto time. It was then that the pilot came over the speaker system to tell us the grim news. We were to return to Canada, to Newfoundland, because of a medical emergency on board. But, added, “we’ll only be on the ground for enough time to get the sick fellow off and to refuel the plane”. “May be half an hour”, he said.
Some 2 hours later we touched down at Gander. It was very, very dark outside when we landed but by the time they had located a fuel truck and then someone to drive the thing, the half hour had long passed an it was VERY, VERY light outside my wet window, the rain pouring down and everything moving very slowly outside. The above mentioned half an hour had been very optimistic plus we weren’t even allowed to leave the plane because we had left Canadian air space and just in case, just a small possibility, that we may have picked up some extra passengers when cruising at 36,000 feet over that Atlantic Ocean, we were told to stay put because there were no immigration officers available to check our papers!

When we eventually arrived over Heathrow air space we were then given the grim news that, because we had missed our scheduled arrival time, we would have to wait for a free bit of air space to become available for us to start our landing descent. So far, the early stages of my trip to the International had been a real blast!!

The ISDS International Sheep Dog Trials 2004 DVD

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