View Full Version : Beverley Museum Closure

21st Aug 2003, 06:18
It was reported on our local news tonight that the Army Transport Museum located in the town of Beverley is to close with immediate effect. This sudden news is due to cash flow problems.
Whilst the museum contains a large and varied collection of trains and vehicles it also houses a Beverley aircraft. As a local resident who has been a regular visitor to the museum I have always found it fascinating to look around this huge and ungainly aircraft (my personal opinion).
It is reported that this example is the last surviving one of the type which is listed as XB259 Blackburn Beverley C.1.
I would be interested to know more about the type and this airframe in particular.
The retired Army Major, who works for the museum, who was interviewed on TV stated that he had no idea what would happen to the many exhibits including the Beverley now that the museum had closed.

21st Aug 2003, 08:47
Sounds a bit odd to me, as the museum has been closed for several weeks already due to 'health & safety concerns' - and apparently work was underway to fix whatever the concerns were. So is this a further development, or a mis-reported bit of old news?

21st Aug 2003, 13:41
It would be a crying shame if the Bev was left to rot and then chopped up like the RAF did to the one outside the RAF Museum at Hendon. The old place just doesn't look the same without the big bird in desert camoflage outside....... They didn't even keep the cockpit AFAIK.

21st Aug 2003, 14:39
The news report, which was the first I had heard about the subject, also reported that over the past few weeks the museum had had to call in the EOD teams as it had been discovered that many exhibits did not have the necassary Free From Explosive (FFE) certificates. In particular one 2nd WW German bomb was discovered to have some "material" still inside it.
I think however from the way the story was presented that this was a separate issue from the main closure, although I'm sure that the loss of visitor income would not have helped the cash flow. The Major interviewed indicated that reduced visitor numbers was a long term problem.

21st Aug 2003, 21:52
LowNslow - not positive, but I believe the cockpit section from Hendon's Beverley went to the Newark Air Museum. I recall seeing a flight deck section there a few years ago. Duxford has the flight deck from the Southend aircraft that was scrapped quite a while ago now. I seem to recall that Stephen Grey acquired the engines from the Hendon Bev for possible use in a Fighter Collection restoration project.

So some bits are still around, but it would be a crying shame to lose the last complete aircraft. It's a most impressive beast, but that size, and the fact that it's been outdoors for years, are going to make it a challenging preservation. If the RAF Museum can decide that the costs are too high, where does that leave less well financed organisations? Fingers crossed!

22nd Aug 2003, 04:13
I've got a bit of Hendon's Beverley in the attic back at my parents. Looks like an inspection panel off a wing. Only about 50 cm by 40 cm, but oval (ish).

We nicked/borrowed/acquired bits when we were Air Cadets on out first big trip... If we'd have been able to raise more money for a bigger minibus we'd have nicked more. Blame the charity of the British public therefore....

As enthusiastic Cadets we were all very gutted to go to Hendon, the Holy Place of all things Aviation, to discover the first exhibit being chopped up and replaced by bloody fibreglass Airfix kits...

Spiney Norman
22nd Aug 2003, 19:25
Wasn't the Museum of Army Transport Beverley the one that was at Hull (Paull)? If I remember correctly it was purchased by Court Line as a transporter for large parts in support of their fleet of BAC1-11's and L1011's. The Beverley was deemed ideal because it could transport a replacement RB211 if needed. The project foundered on certification problems and after standing at Luton for some time the aircraft was sold to Hull aero club and relocated to the now defunct Paull airfield for use as a clubhouse. Court Line, in the meantime, used to charter a BAF Carvair or ABC Argosy to do the AOG parts job. Don't remember how the Beverley got to Paull but have a vague recollection that it may have flown in on a special single flight dispensation. That would really have been something to see if correct! The main drag there being 671m grass! Whilst the Beverley was with Court Line it was just left in the old transport livery of White/Blue stripe/Natural, with the RAF markings painted out. I'd have loved to see it in the three-tone Purple, (Halcyon Nights)!


24th Aug 2003, 09:12
A Bev also made it into Sandown IOW back in the 60's.
Anyone out there know what became of that one ?

24th Aug 2003, 13:28
DragonRapide there is a bit of a difference in the circumstances of the Hendon Bev and the Bev Bev.

The Hendon one was subject to years of neglect being left with the cockpit windows open and never seeing a lick of paint. Unsurprisingly when somebody got around to assessing the beast for preservation corrosion was rife throughout the airframe and the decision was taken to scrap her. A disgusting sight nonetheless, one of a rare breed being broken up outside one of the UK's premier air museums......

THe Bev Bev on the other hand has been subject to regular maintenance and more attention has been paid to preventing water ingress and also ensuring the outside regularly had the highly corrosive bird ****e cleared off. She was also repainted at lest once during her stay at Bev. Thumbs up to the pongos for appreciating how rare this beast is :ok:

After all this effort it would be a disaster to let as rare an airframe in reasonable condition like this be scrapped. If either the Imperial War Museum or the RAF Museum doesn't get the future of the Beverly sorted they need their collective arses kicked. Just think how good the Bev would look on the apron at Duxford, towering over her contemporaries. Marvellous. If the IWM can spend bazillions on preserving aircraft from the US of A why can't they preserve the LAST Beverly..........Also, as much as I think the Do-27 in the RAF Museum is wonderful, the BEv would be a more appropriate exhibit there. The Dornier would be better placed in Cosford IMHO

PS I think the USAF Museum at Duxford is fantastic and money well spent but there must be some provision made for preserving unique British aircraft as well.

24th Aug 2003, 14:23
Perhaps the Beverley Beverley would be best moved to the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington? Not that far, surely.

24th Aug 2003, 20:09
Good point BEagle if their treatment of the Halifax is anything to go by they would do a cracking good job of looking after Bev's Bev.

If YAM volunteers disassembled it into reasonable chunks maybe the RAF would provide a few Wokka's to carry it over. Mmmm, why do I doubt that........

24th Aug 2003, 20:43
Or perhaps 'Crash and Smash' (if they still exist) could do the job and move the Beverley in bite-sized chunks (hopefully fairly big ones). Maybe some of the pongos' training vehicles from Leconfield or Driffield could provide useful 'driver training' for their trainees?

Hopefully the good retired Major will investigate the 'training opportunity' which re-location of the Beverley might provide for trainees directed by 'Crash and Smash'?

Or would such initiatives be stalled under the current service malaise of "We'd love to help, but there's no money......." :(

25th Aug 2003, 14:50
bral I agree with you entirely. Another example was the disposal of the Vulcan fleet to anybody with 5 grand in their pockets which IMHO could have been better spent preserving existing exhibits. The now defunct Cardiff Museum was a classic case of this. Still, the old Avro Wunderbomber did make a great umbrella when it rained......

I take it you are talking about Boston, Massivechewsets (as made famous by the Brothers Gibb) rather than Boston, Lincolnshire?

Our transatlantic cousins do generally seem to be so much better at preserving their aviation history than us on an institutional level at least. The Smithsonian and it's Silver Hill(?) storage facility get regular donations from the UASF, USN and USMC when aircraft go out of service.

BEagle I'm sure the old adage of "we'd love to help but...." would be exercised. I'm also sure that if the boys at YAM can't get a donation of some kind from the RAF / Army then nobody can! Would you really let trainee pongo drivers carry the last remaining Beverly?? Yup, if it's free says I :ok: :ok:

25th Aug 2003, 16:38
Methinks you speak of the museum at Bradley Field, the airport of Hartford, Conn. - The Bradley Air Museum or the North East Air Museum. Home of Pratt and with lots of things from Sikorsky who are not too far away.
A smashing museum with not only the newly housed and nearly restored B29 but the most beautiful VS-44 restoration. They are working around their exhibits and gradually getting them indoors and in good shape but, like every museum I've ever seen, they need money and people.

25th Aug 2003, 17:28
Ah yes the GeeBees rather than the BeeGees.

Don't forget Homer, Mr. Burns, Barney etc etc :ok: :ok: :ok: Oh sorry, they aren't really real are they? :hmm:

17th Sep 2003, 18:53
Just to bring it back on topic and back to the top, is there any more news about the Beverly Bev?

5th Nov 2003, 04:58
Phil here(philo on this forum as well as someone else is apparently called Phil here as well !) , some of you will know me from other forums.
I have already updated the Flypast forum, lucky to catch it up and working really, anyhow I have had a long chat with Ian Dewar at YAM and he is fairly positive about the situation with XB259.
The key points are:-
Ownership of the aircraft needs to be established as there are three claimants, although Mr Francis Daley seems to be the legal owner. Receivers see the aircraft as the museums biggest, in fact only asset, yet it looks as if its not theirs anyway. Mr Daley wants to move the aircraft to a site in the Humber estuary, not good as its a fairly saline atmosphere.
YAM are adamant that saving her as a whole is the only option, however she is only structurally sound enough for one more strip down and rebuild, so any move she has now has to be the final one if she is to stay in tact.
Support has been fantastic to date, with some very notable people pledging support, the most notable being a certain R.Branson and HRH the POW.
Cash in the order of 200k will be required to complete the strip, move to and reassembly on a prepared site at Elvington.
It seems likely that XB259 can remain at its current site until probably March 04, and YAM would not want to undertake a strip over the winter anyway.
The bottom line is that this needs as much support as possible,the press coverage has been good locally apparently and I am doing my bit to get the folks of Abingdon wound up, but we all need to write to Ian Dewar at YAM (address on their web site). Please do this if you think our last surviving Beverley should be saved from the baked bean tin factory.:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

5th Nov 2003, 05:43
Welcome aboard Philo. Now where on Earth did they get that 200,000 figure from for the move? Would they like some contacts who would move it for much less money?

5th Nov 2003, 15:02
Hi Damien,
A working forum that we can communicate on, how novel!!.
The 200k that I quoted was slightly OTT, it was based on the figures that Ian Dewar gave me of 135 - 160 for the move , plus some for preparation of a dedicated area at YAM and engineering contingency.
I'm not sure that these are fully quoted for and final figures, it might be best to leave this to YAM to sort out,then wait to see if they ask for assistance publically.
I didn't want to quote Ian Verbatim on everything as you know how things get out of control, the next thing you know is 'Phil Neale was quoted as saying the Beverley move is going to 1 million'

5th Nov 2003, 16:07
XB259 (http://www.beverley-association.org.uk/xb259/xb259.htm)

5th Nov 2003, 16:25
1 million???!!!!