This Weekend I …

DSC_0025.JPGAs we had a visitor staying with us over the weekend whom you might describe as a aviation and automobile enthusiast, Saturday saw us taking a short road trip to the Brooklands Museum.  Brooklands, built in 1907, was the world’s first purpose-built motor circuit and the home of British Motorsport and Aviation.DSC_0014.JPGDuring both World Wars, Brooklands was requisitioned by the Government and turned to the mass production of military aircraft, and as a result suffered from severe bombing at the hands of the German Luftwaffe.  The resulting damage saw the racing circuit all but destroyed and later broken up, with just a short section of banking remaining. Post 1945, the site was purchased by Vickers and a new age of military and civil aircraft was born.

Thrillingly for me, the Museum is home to Concorde.   Not only was Concorde an engineering marvel, she was an icon of beauty, style, and in her own way, a brand. Every aspect of the aircraft was designed for aerodynamic efficiency, and yet the outcome became something truly elegant; instantly recognisable all over the world.  The supersonic airliner was a joint venture between Great Britain and France and the first UK meeting took place at what is now Brooklands Museum.DSC_0020.JPGBecause approximately a third of Concorde’s airframe had been built at the Brooklands factory (with the remainder of the build split between Filton and Toulouse), the Museum was eager to acquire a Concorde of their own and achieved this in 2004.DSC_0002.JPGVisitors can now take a 35 minute tour of Concorde (an additional fee is payable) and I was in seventh heaven.  She’s the aircraft I most wanted to fly on and having sadly never achieved that, the next best thing was sitting in the cabin listening to our guide, a former BA Stewardess who served on the Concorde fleet from 1977 to 1992, enthuse about what a wonderful aircraft she was. IMG_6219.JPGI think that Brooklands’ appeal lies in both its history, and its current collection of vehicles (which I’ve barely touched upon) and aircraft.  For the non-enthusiast, I would still recommend a visit, but perhaps choose a day when the Museum is hosting a themed event.

Believe me when I say that you won’t be disappointed.

 

4 thoughts on “This Weekend I …

  1. Ah, I know exactly how you feel, I have loved Concord ever since I first saw her, doing a test flight over central London when I worked there in the mid-60s. I always dreamed of flying in her, but sadly never did, but a few years ago I visited the test model, which is the actual one I saw, at Yeovilton. When I lived in Surrey she used to fly overhead at exactly 6pm every evening and we all used to go into the garden to wave to her. Happy Days.

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    1. Same here! When I worked for a large company near T4 at Heathrow, I spent the mornings waiting for Concorde’s 11am departure! Later, when I lived in Richmond-upon-Thames, I always tried my best to be outside early evening! We could form the Concorde Spotters Club!

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  2. A lovely tour out … Mr Man would have been in 7th heaven over a tour like this. There was once a Concord landed at Toronto’s main airport & off he dragged his parents to see.

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  3. Concorde landed a few times at Stansted so I’ve seen her fly overhead and we did get to go on a tour when she was at Duxford but they had removed all the seats etc so it was hard to imagine what an actual flight would have been like. How lucky to actually sit in her and imagine a flight properly.

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