£1.9 Million HLF Grant

The Heritage Lottery Fund awards £1.9million grant to the DE Havilland Aircraft Museum

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of nearly £2 million to the “de Havilland Aircraft Museum in the 21st Century Project”, a significant investment in Hertfordshire’s aviation heritage.

The museum, at Salisbury Hall, London Colney, applied for the grant three years ago to enable it to build a large new hangar to provide covered space for its exhibits and a range of community and education facilities.

After learning of the National Lottery funding decision, the museum chairman Alan Brackley said: “The Trustees of the museum are delighted that the HLF has awarded them £1.9 million to build the new hangar.

“Thanks to the money raised by the National Lottery players the project will not only safely display several important aircraft exhibits inside the new building away from the rigours of the British weather, including the DH Comet 1a, the world’s first passenger jet airliner, and DH Sea Vixen, but it will be able to offer the local community an exciting venue for meetings, conferences, parties, learning and other social events.”

The National Lottery funding will enable the museum to move on to the next phase of its development programme and construction work on the new hangar is expected to begin in July and completed in 2019.

“The Museum needs to fund-raise a further £250,000, before we get the National Lottery’s permission to start the building works,” added Mr Brackley, “so all support is very welcome and donations made through our website or at the Museum.”

Planning permission for the project was granted by Hertsmere Council in 2016.

The museum, which attracts several thousands of visitors each year, is the oldest aviation museum in Britain and concentrates on the many types of aircraft and engines built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company at its Hatfield factory in Hertfordshire.

It is based in the grounds of Salisbury Hall, a Tudor mansion, which during the Second World War was used by de Havilland as its secret design centre for its “Wooden Wonder” Mosquito twin-engine multi-role aircraft.

The prototype Mosquito is one of three examples of the type on display, more than can be seen at any other museum in the world. In fact the Prototype is the only surviving WW2 twin-engine prototype aircraft to be displayed on the site where it was designed and constructed.

Since the museum was formed by the then owner of historic Salisbury Hall, Walter Goldsmith, and its small hangar opened to the public in 1959 it has acquired more than 20 iconic de Havilland aircraft.

This led to the construction of a second, larger hangar which was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1984.

Acquisitions and donations of further aircraft were soon to make more covered display and restoration space a priority.

“We are a working museum where visitors can watch restoration work being carried out and can get up close to the aircraft. It is run by volunteers, some of whom were among the many thousands of people who worked for de Havilland,” said Mr Brackley.

Aviation Heritage Awards

The 2017 Aviation Heritage awards, which attracted over 30 nominations, were presented at the 50th anniversary meeting by BAPC/AHUK President Tony Edwards.

The individual award was won by John Sharpe, Chairman of the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection for his leadership in setting up the BDAC and re-establishing it at Old Sarum when they had to move from their original home at Boscombe Down.

The group award was won by The Duxford Aviation Society for their educational work with young people and especially with overseas students.

The first ever Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to a very surprised John Kenyon at the end of his presentation on the history of the BAPC.

Lifetime Achievement Awards were also presented to:

  • Jim O’Donnell, Aviation Preservation Society of Scotland
  • Hugh Newell, North East Land Sea and Air Museum
  • John Davidson, The Aeroplane Collection
  • John King, Croydon Airport Society

for their dedication to the advancement of aviation heritage and preservation over many years.

Aviation Heritage UK

The British Aviation Preservation Council became Aviation Heritage UK during the 50th anniversary meeting at the RAF Museum Cosford on Saturday 28th October 2017, fifty years to the day that the organisation was formed.

The change of name better reflects the aims and ambitions of the organisation into the next 50 years and brings with it a new modern logo.

Almost 100 members and guests attended a very successful day where the history of the BAPC was celebrated in a presentation by it’s founder John Kenyon and future plans for Aviation Heritage UK were revealed by Chairman Robert Pleming.

Keynote presentations by Maggie Appleton MBE, CEO of the RAF Museum, Uli Willbold, Head of Heritage at Airbus, Sir George Cox, Pro Chancellor of The University of Warwick and Sqn Ldr Rick Lipscomb from the RAF Heritage department were supported by member presentations from The Midland Air Museum, The Bristol Aero Collection and The Medway Aircraft Presentation Society.

Aviation legend, Martin Withers gave a presentation on his part in the Black Buck mission to the Falkland Islands in Vulcan XM607, a turning point in the 1982 conflict.

A visit to the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre ended a memorable day.

Thefts from Museums

A WW2 RAF sector clock, stolen from Hook Memorial Hall, near Goole, has been recovered! Police are questioning a 57-year old Hook man. Thanks to the 3800 of you who shared the picture of the clock on Facebook and made it “too hot to handle!”

Some time ago, a control column top, stolen from VTTST, was recovered in the same way thanks to a social media campaign.

If you find that something has been stolen from your premises, send details to the Secretary as soon as possible for distribution to our wider community.