View Full Version : Creative Planet rears it's ugly head again

Windy Militant
12th Nov 2004, 08:33
I was hoping that this had gone away but unfortunately it hasn't
For those of you who don't know the story.
The Science Museum has decided to redevelop the airfield at Wroughton near Swindon which at present is used as a storage facility for exhibits too large to fit into the main Museum at Kensington. Amongst the vast collection of transport and industrial artifacts held there are a Comet 4 and a Constellation.
Wroughton is one of the few airfields of the pre secondworld war expansion period left mostly intact. For years it's been the Cinderella of the NMSI underfunded and ignored.
Now the Luvvies have decided it's to go green Creative Planet (http://www.nmsi.ac.uk/creativeplanet/pdfs/creativeplanet.pdf)
Kensington are now going to throw vast amounts of money at the site to destroy it.
From plans I've seen in the local papers it seems that they are going to rip out the runways and landscape the area.
Last year at an event for the centenary of flight I got talking to the guys who work there and they expressed grave concern for the survival of the larger exhibits should this plan go ahead.
Whilst the ideals of sustainability and renwable production are laudable it would be in my opinion far better to use some of the thousands of acres of set aside land to demonstrate these theories rather than destroying a valuable heritage site which could be developed in a manner far more sympathetic to it's place in history.
I've already written to both the Science Museum and the local paper and will also write to my MP. Could I ask for your support by doing the same.
Thanks. WM
Edited: because not many people know what CP is all about

12th Nov 2004, 10:04
"Wherever you live and whatever your circumstances, we hope that this Creative Planet discussion document has inspired you.
Now we want you to tell us what you think of our ideas and proposals and to engage with us in taking this exciting project forward.

If you would like to get involved, please write to:
Clive Gordon
Science Museum
or e-mail:
[email protected]"

Dear Clive,

This is a load of unmitigated pseudo-scientific greenist bull****. Please ram your project where the sun doesn't shine......

12th Nov 2004, 12:25
Page 13

"Ten years into the future, you may find yourself floating high above Creative Planet in a glider"

And how are we supposed to get up there?

The great thing about airfields, weapons ranges and any other restricted area is that because Joe Public isn't allowed there, the wildlife flourishes.

If Wroughton should be developed, then Duxford is a very good model to use.

12th Nov 2004, 14:39
And if those loony greenies do end up 'throwing the gates open', you can bet your bottom dollar that every travelling caravan-dwelling tinker, illegal hare-courser and other low-life will take full advantage of the place.....

12th Nov 2004, 17:05
Some questions conveniently NOT asked in the linked document:

Does this whole project not seem more suited to the mission and goals of the Natural History Museum rather than the Science Museum?

So what happens to the significant portions of the national aeronautical collection that are currently at Wroughton?

And what happens if we would like to add something to the national aeronautical collection?

Indeed, does the Science Museum accept responsbility for the ongoing care, preservation and development of the national aeronautical collections?

Finally, is it not an extremely sad state of affairs that ANYONE feels the need to ask the preceding question?

Windy Militant
13th Nov 2004, 19:00
I'm afraid that this is now pretty much a lost cause. After a bit of digging I've Found this in 'Sightings' Summer 2004 edition which is the magazine of a organization called Sustainability South West.

Over the next 15-20 years NMSI plans to
spend around £300m on this ‘museum for
the 21st Century’ with hopes of it becoming
nothing less than a national centre for
sustainable development, which could make
a huge impact on the South West region.
“The project has the potential to be a
powerful economic driver creating a
significant number of jobs and an increase of
around £90m in economic activity in the
region per year.” The project could help to
deliver one of the initial recommendations of
the Way Ahead initiative by
encouraging innovation in sustainability
learning and skills.

They apparently already have a Sustainable Development team in place.

Most of the funding seems to be coming from bodies related to climate change.
No wonder the Kensington luvvies have suddenly taken Wroughton to their bosoms like the prodigal son after so many years of neglect. With this sort of gravy train on the go who's going to give a stuff about a few dusty old aeroplanes. :(

30th Nov 2004, 12:10
I have just received an invite to “a master planning scopeing evening” at Wroughton on the 9th of December between 17:30 and 20:00. Everyone is welcome. It may not make one jot of difference to the plans they have for Wroughton but I hope as many of us as possible can turn up and let them know how we feel about vandalising airfields.
See you there.

30th Nov 2004, 13:59
I've not been to the Science Museum in Kensington for a long, long time, but they used o have a Spitfire, a Hurricane, Amy Johnson's Gipsy Moth, Alcock & Brown's Vimy & the Schneider Trophy winning S-6B on display.

Now those are 5 internationally important and irreplaceable aeroplanes.

Are they still on display in London, I can't find them on the Science Museums website, or are they in storage?

These aircraft are part of our heritage in the same way as HMS Victory and deserve to be on display.

Iron City
30th Nov 2004, 14:58
Since all of those aircraft mentioned (and more) are internationally important to aviation history I'm sure the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum would be happy to have them and can even take the really big aircraft at the new Dulles facility.

Would be a quid pro quo for the Science Museum taking good care of the Wright Flyer for many years

Windy Militant
1st Dec 2004, 08:47
Iron City thanks for the offer but fortunately I don't think we need to go that far yet.
Unfortunately I will be away on business during the engagement event above, but apparently there are more planned so I hope to get to one of those.
Having written to my MP (Michael Wills MP Swindon North), things whilst not looking good are apparently not as dire as I first feared. From the reply I got to Mr Wills Letter from NMSI it seems that the original plan has been toned down considerably from the Teletubby land that was shown in the local papers last year.
A new conservation building is to be built which will be used to store and conserve a large number of the items held in deep storage in various locations around London at present. This will apparently allow a great number of artefacts which were previously inaccessible to be viewed by the public.
Reassurances were made about the continued care and conservation of the Aircraft and other items currently held at Wroughton.
It's interesting to note that the Wroughton web pages are now accessible on the second page of the Museums web site whereas before the only way I could get at it was by search engine as it didn’t seem to be linked to the main site at all!
Kolibear if you go to Exhibitions Online in the tool bar at the top of the page and follow the long trail of links you come to Flight (http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/on-line/flight/index.asp) which gives a list of what’s in the aviation gallery there. It would appear that they've let the graphic designers have too much say in the layout of their site. It looks wonderful but it's a pig to get around
WM ;)

3rd Dec 2004, 09:56
It would appear that they've let the graphic designers have too much say in the layout of their site. And indeed the content's suspect too - for example in "Aircraft on Display" they say that the section of 747 they have, which is from an old Japan Air Lines one that was retired, had Rolls Royce engines :rolleyes:

3rd Dec 2004, 10:23

Has a look round the Science Mus. in late September. Indeed the Spit, Hurricane S.6, G Moth and Vimy are still there. Plus the P.1127, Pitts S-1, HS125, DC3 front fuselage etc. The website is pretty acurate on what is there. That 747 section is a real small section though!