Aerospace Bristol has celebrated a major milestone in the construction of the new home of Concorde, with a topping out ceremony for the museum’s Concorde hangar attended by HRH The Princess Royal.
The £19m museum is currently taking shape at a site on the northern side of the former Filton Airfield, alongside Hayes Way, the road which links the A38 with The Mall at Cribbs Causeway [map].
The Concorde hangar will be home to Aerospace Bristol’s star attraction: Concorde 216. Designed, built and tested in Bristol, she was the last Concorde to be built and the last to fly. Due to open in summer 2017, Aerospace Bristol will offer more than just Concorde, taking visitors on a fascinating journey through time: from the earliest days of flight, when Boxkite biplanes flew over the Avon Gorge, through to the modern day, revealing the latest technologies of today’s aerospace industry and telling the amazing stories of ordinary people achieving extraordinary things.
HRH The Princess Royal toured the site and met with Aerospace Bristol volunteers, who are hard at work preparing the exhibits for display in the new museum, then unveiled the first piece of a feature wall: a specially engraved aeroplane sculpture to mark the occasion.
As Aerospace Bristol’s Patron, Her Royal Highness was also presented with a framed print of a magazine cover from the museum’s extensive historical archives. The Bristol Review cover, first published in Autumn 1957, shows a photograph of Princess Margaret, Princess Anne and Prince Charles on the steps of a BOAC Britannia as HM The Queen Mother set out from London for Rhodesia.
Iain Gray CBE, Chairman of Aerospace Bristol, said:
“This topping out ceremony marks a major milestone towards opening Aerospace Bristol in summer 2017. I am most grateful to Her Royal Highness for kindly agreeing to attend the ceremony as our Patron. I understand The Princess Royal has an interest in science, technology and engineering, and education and learning will be at the heart of Aerospace Bristol. The success of Concorde must be the inspiration for today’s youth to join our great industry and develop the new ideas of tomorrow.”
Above : Aerial shot of the museum site showing WWI grade II listed hangar 16S in the top left and the steelwork of the new Concorde hangar under construction on the right (photo taken some weeks before the princess’s visit).
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 4 & 5). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.