VH-URJ   Beardmore WB.XXIV Wee Bee

                        
               
                            Formerly G-EBJJ, VH-URJ was imported into Australia in 1933.     The Wee Bee was designed
                            by W. S. Shackleton and built in Scotland at the Dalmuir works of William Beardmore & Co.Ltd.
                         
  It was the company's winning entrant in the 1924 Lympne light aeroplane trials.  The diminutive craft
                            was powered by a Bristol Cherub 32 hp engine.         Several were built, although VH-URJ is the
                            only one to have made it to Australia.    The photo above is from my own collection,  while immed-
                            iately below is an image from the  Len Dobbin collection, courtesy of the Civil Aviation Historical
                            Society.      In 2011 I was contacted by Aaron Betts whose grandfather, Fred Betts, acquired the
                            Wee Bee in October 1938.    Fred hit a rock upon landing at Pomberneit, Victoria (where he was
                            the proprietor of the local service station) and broke the Wee Bee in half.   At the foot of the page
                            are three shots from Aaron's collection, the latter two showing the wreckage.  The tail of the machine
                            had the inscription:      
                                                                   "Wee Bee  I"
                                                                Out-Right Winner
                                                                       £ 4000
                                                                  British Light Plane
                                                                     Competition
                                                                 Built by
                                                                 Beardmore Aviation
                                                                 England
                        
                            Correspondent Charles Mac Kay indicates that it appears to have existed after the war up until about
                            1950, and was owned by Vincent Boyes.  It appears not to have had a current CofA at that time, since
                            DCA records reflect that it was stricken from the register in August 1940.