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Avro Heritage Museum Woodford (Commer interest)
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:59 pm    Post subject: Avro Heritage Museum Woodford (Commer interest) Reply with quote

A few months ago I got to have a final look around the former Avro factory site at Woodford, the majority of which is due to be flattened to make way for housing. Dad's a volunteer with Avro Heritage, hence the guided tour.

Firstly, a peek inside the gargantuan assembly shop that's still (at the time of writing) visible from the main road outside the plant. Eerily quiet, its days are numbered.




The Avro Heritage Centre has packed up all its belongings and put them into store for the timebeing. Their new home will be on the opposite side of the runway, of which more anon.

In the 1970s we'd go as a family to the airshows held at Woodford, it seemed odd to re-visit the place, all quiet with little going on. The control tower is now silent, but was once a hive of activity. Whether the tower will be preserved, or swept away during the re-development, I'm not sure.




The main attraction for many years at Woodford has been XM603, the all-white B2 Vulcan. Not so long ago it was dragged across the site, from its long-term home near the workshops, over to the south side, close to the former fire station.

While looking more than a little forlorn, the Vulcan will - once tidied up - become a central attraction in what will be the re-formed Avro/BAE Heritage Centre. The fire station will be the new home for the collection of artefacts, with 603 parked outside on the apron, on view from where the fire station controllers once sat, looking out across the airfield.

Again, as a nipper, I remember being mighty impressed by 603, so it'll be neat to see it looking resplendent once more.





The Heritage collection has an impressive assortment of Avro- and BAE-related artefacts to go on display.

In addition to 603 parked outside, they also have the nose section of 602 in store, shown here in the fire station prior to building work commencing.



Tucked away there is this fantastic Commer. In the back of it there is a gas turbine, and it was used to fire up jet-engined aircraft. It has covered less than 9000 miles from new, and is in cracking condition.





Heading back to the north side of the airfield, just a quick snap of the workshops, past which we'd go every year en route to parking for the annual air displays.



And finally the offices



The plans for the new heritage centre are exciting, and while losing the airfield to housing is quite a depressing thought, at least the future of 603 (if preserved correctly) should be secure, and the thought of supping a brew from the new cafe area, while gazing out over the delta lady parked on the apron outside, is one I hope comes to fruition.

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.


Last edited by Rick on Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rootes75



Joined: 30 Apr 2013
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Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely little Commer, I like the pick-up body. Such a shame to see so many places like this get flattened for housing but I suppose that is progress.
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D4B



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
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Location: Hampshire UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rootes75 wrote:
but I suppose that is progress.


Not sure it's progress, it's a crying shame I reckon Crying or Very sad
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Rick
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Latest I've heard is that the Vulcan is scheduled for a jet-wash and re-paint in the not-too-distant future, which should help its survival prospects.

RJ
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Rick
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gave dad a hand today shifting a couple of the large models he's been storing, during the refurbishment of what will be the new Heritage centre at Woodford.

In the car below, a large model of the BAe RJ, and in bubble wrap, a Nimrod.



The main factory buildings are beginning to come down now, soon the industrial landscape of the area will be changed forever. It's quite eerie driving around the place, remembering many airshow attendances in the 1970s and 1980s when the place was really bustling with activity.

The visit also gave me chance to update my car-with-Vulcan photo library Smile



RJ
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Rick
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few days ago, we headed over to Avro Heritage at Woodford to both look around the new museum, and see the re-painted XM603 for the first time. The "tin triangle" certainly looks the part in it's new coat of paint, and the exhibits on display within the former fire station building (much modified) are well worth a look also.

(The buildings shown at the start of this thread have all now been levelled, and houses are beginning to pop up where the old factory buildings, once visible from the road outside, used to stand).








A few snaps now of the undercover exhibits.

New arrivals on the airframe/cockpit front are planned for imminent arrival, so a return visit in the not-too-distant-future is on the cards.












RJ
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Rick
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The early green hangar that used to reside at Woodford is coming up for auction:

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/dominic-winter-book-auctions/catalogue-id-srdom10107/lot-eb41b695-4432-4e2e-b3b7-a8cd00cb7ea8?utm_source=auction-alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=auction-alert&utm_content=lot-image-link



RJ
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47Jag



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
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Location: Bothwell, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick,

Looking at the previous pictures again I noticed the Avro delta wing passenger concept has all of the seat facing backwards. The safest way I suppose but would it catch on?

Art


Last edited by 47Jag on Fri May 11, 2018 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Keith D



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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When my wife and I migrated to Australia in 1967 we travelled in a Bristol Britannia that had been a troop carrier and all the seats were backward facing.
I don't remember any problems regarding comfort. I understand that all aircraft carrying troops in those days had the backward facing seats as they are far safer in a crash.

Not only did we migrate down-under, but backwards too!

Keith
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47Jag



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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It must have been interesting at take off. Did you not feel as if you would fall out of the seat? Although thinking back, I had a cousin over from Canada in the late 50s and he had to fly via New York on a Brittania. I do recall it had a almost sedate attitude as it faded into the distance. It was is if it would be vulgar to adopt the angle of climbs that today’s planes leap into the sky at.

Art
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Keith D



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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

47Jag
It was the first time we had ever flown so we noticed nothing unusual. However the flight to Melbourne took about two days with stops in Dubai, Colombo, Singapore and Darwin. By the time we finally reached Melbourne we were shattered.

Keith
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Miken



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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keith D wrote:
When my wife and I migrated to Australia in 1967 we travelled in a Bristol Britannia that had been a troop carrier and all the seats were backward facing.
I don't remember any problems regarding comfort. I understand that all aircraft carrying troops in those days had the backward facing seats as they are far safer in a crash.

Not only did we migrate down-under, but backwards too!

Keith


I doubt you would be safer facing backwards in a modern airliner. In the event of a crash, wouldn't you end up with all the overhead baggage and lockers hitting you in the face when it all comes crashing down on you?
As well as all the drink and food trollies plus other debris that will make rapid progress from the rear to the front of the aircraft as it decellerates. Could this be why it's never caught on?
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Penman



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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
There was a comedian, can't remember which, who had a one liner "Sit at the back of an aeroplane, they never reverse into mountains".
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