Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Avro Heritage museum building hand -over this morning

This morning the new Avro Heritage museum building was officially handed over from the contractor, Conlon Construction, to BAe, and from BAe to the Heritage Centre. The building utilises the shell of the BAe fire station on the south side of the former Woodford Airfield (now closed). I am involved with Avro Heritage as a potential Museum guide when it opens to the public later this year, and was there this morning to view the building for the first time.

Please click on any picture for a larger image.

My MX5 parked at the museum this morning 

Vulcan XM603, which like all Vulcans was built at Woodford, stands adjacent to the new Avro Heritage Centre museum building. The building uses the shell of the airfield fire station and has cost £2M to convert, funded by the former owners of the now disused airfield, BAe.  

Museum entrance. The nose section of Vulcan XM602 can bee seen through the windows. 

XM603 seen from a ground floor window 

The Museum main display area, with murals of historic Avro aircraft. The mural on the far wall depicts Lancaster production at Woodford during World War Two.

The museum reception desk 

A view from the Museum across the airfield to the Woodford control tower. Constructor's plant can be seen recovering the surfaces of the taxyways and aprons for use as hardcore in road construction. Some of that material can be seen in the foreground just beyond the fence. The airfield will be used for housing development; it would have been marvelous if it had been retained as a much-needed GA airfield for the North West, but there's more short-term financial gain in housing than in aviation.   

Looking out of the main entrance from the Museum reception desk. The nose of Vulcan XM602 can be seen on the right. This exhibit is complete with a fully equipped cockpit, and will be open to museum visitors. 

Harry Holmes, former BAe senior employee and historian and now Avro Heritage Chairman, announces from the Museum balcony to the volunteers below that the the Museum is now ours!

Tim, the project manager for the build, accepts Harry's thanks and adds some words of his own 

 Looking down from the balcony to the main Museum display area with its as yet empty cabinets

The nicely-furnished first floor cafe 

XM603 could do with a bit of TLC. She is parked with her tail to the prevailing westerly wind so the control surfaces should be locked to prevent them banging up and down in the wind as they were this morning. The aeroplane is owned by Harrow Estates so officially Heritage Centre staff cannot work on it without Harrow's permission.

'Avro House', the late 1980s BAe office block is demolished. The main 25 / 07 former runway passes across the foreground of the picture. Soon all this will be houses!

Looking from the cafe to the balcony and the Lancaster mural on the far wall of the main display area 

Access to the Museum is around the old airfield perimeter track. This is the view along the former main runway from the 07 threshold. Note the runway surface has been scraped off for use as hard core for road construction. What a terrible waste of a runway that would cost millions to build today.

This won't be here much longer; 'Avro House', the BAe office block build in the late 1980s 

The partly-demolished remains of the main construction hangars on the north side. A sad end to a facility that saw the construction of Ansons, Lancasters, 748s, Vulcans, Nimrods, 146s and many many other fine aircraft.



  1. Museum Looking good, definitely pay a visit when it opens. Only live down the road in Macclesfield. Will it be ready for the Vulcan V Bombers Salute flypast at the end of June?

  2. Won't be ready that soon. No date yet but I'd expect late summer or autumn.

    1. Shame, any plans to allow people on to the site for the Flypast?

  3. Not that I know of. I suspect they wouldn't be insured to do that until the museum is opened to the public.