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Comet and Trident at Wroughton

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Comet and Trident at Wroughton

Old 29th May 2019, 13:00
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Having had several dealings with the Science Museum over the last few years, I can only conclude that the SM has absolutely no interest whatsoever, in aviation and are totally unfit to have care of this aspect of our heritage.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that there has been no aviation changes to the Kensington site for over 20 years. Yes, there is an amazing collection but NO credit can go the current management who have done nothing and totally fails to reflect the many recent scientific advances in aviation such as the use of carbon fibre in primary structures etc. Etc. They cant even get the speeds and capacity of Concorde correct !

Contrast that to the incredible progress made by many UK, indeed world wide, aviation museums who have NO public funding, Brooklands, Newark, Elvington, being just three examples. Of course, those museums are run by people, usually for no return, who are passionate and often very skilled in many aspects of aviation.

The hangar at Wroughton which houses the aircraft IS laid out for public access, but has, by neglect and disinterest of the current management, been allowed to fall into disrepair. Exraordinary that many museums are housed in hangars much older than Wroughton, eg Boscombe Downs. museum housed in WW 1 hangars at Old Sarum.

Strange , too, that the hangars could, however be used, for Top Gear filming !

So the SM are now asking other museums to display THEIR aircraft to “ improve public access” . I suggest the SM starts putting their own house in order and restores their own museum which WAS set up for public access..

For a start we need a new curator of aviation, one with the enthusiasm and knowledge of the previous curator, Ross Sharpe, unlike the current incumbent for whom the risk of even model aircraft flying on the airfield poses risks “too hard for him to bear “ as he stated in a letter to the local MP James Gray.

and, I ask, just what will the SM do with these three airliners if, as I suspect, no other museum has the resources or interest to take them into their care. Left to slowly decay out of public sight ?

They have about as much interest in aviation as I have in 18 th century arts and crafts which, apparently, is a key interest of the current Director of “Masterplan “ which seems rather unusual for a key manager of a SCIENCE museum.

Last edited by RetiredBA/BY; 29th May 2019 at 13:22.
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Old 29th May 2019, 22:45
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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I've no idea how long the current management has been in place but I'm certainly prepared to believe they, individually or collectively, have no interest in aviation.
When we last visited the Science Museum in London, neither of us having been since schooldays, we were really looking forward to what we remembered as an Aladdin's cave of exhibits and, particularly in my case, the historic artefacts in the aviation gallery.
What we got was an "experience" solely designed for children with "press here to read/find out" etc. and the aviation gallery closed every hour for 20 minutes or so to give some sort of children's show, with a presenter.

We left after about an hour and have no plans to return.

Open Wroughton and we'll be there very, very quickly.
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Old 10th Jun 2019, 22:46
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Red face Re Science Museum collection at Wroughton

Concerned that the Science Museum at Wroughton are now asking for tenders to display their aircraft, I wrote this letter on 29th April addressing it to:

Matt Moore, the Wroughton Manager; Directors Robert James & Will Stanley, Science Museum and copied in to my MP Robert Buckland

Dear Matt,

I am a long-serving aviation journalist and author, locally based in Swindon, only a couple of miles from you.
I am sorry, but I have to express my despair and dismay at the lack of commercial enterprise in not allowing public access to view the Science Museum collection at Wroughton!
You used to have occasional Open Days, but not any more. This collection is supposed to be saved ‘for future generations’, so why are they hidden away and not being given access by those they are saved for?

I am now 69 years of age and would love to show my Grandson the collection, but when visits are requested, ridiculous sums are quoted or that old adage ‘Health & Safety is quoted to deter any visits.
Now you are advertising for partners to display the collection – not surprising, as if there was any initiative for commercial enterprise, you would open up the collection on a regular basis and charge a nominal sum.
I know you did not get the hoped for Lottery Grant to develop the collection into a proper museum, so that should have given you a wake-up call to try and do something to generate funds.
Meanwhile this collection remains hidden away and no doubt deteriorating due to lack of money, staff or any will to change things!
If properly organised this collection would generate much-needed tourism for the area and is completely wasted hidden away!

Yours sincerely,


I tagged the e.mail letter with a 'read receipt' - result stoney silence!!!!
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Old 11th Jun 2019, 08:31
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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The Science Museum have a wonderful collection of aircraft at Wroughton, however they give the impression they are not interested in them and certainly use every excuse possible NOT to show them off. It is a complete contrast to the many enthusiast run museums around the country who do all they can to draw visitors in......( No need to list them. We all know them ).
AK In my view it is very discourteous of Matt Moore not to reply to your letter.
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Old 11th Jun 2019, 15:55
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Matt Moore really should be shown the door, discourtesy is one of his better attributes !

I have documentary evidence, currently in my study, that he has lied to me, misled James Gray MP, and made ludicrous allegations of criminal behaviour against members of Swindon Model Aircraft Club who used Wroughton for 60 years. Those allegations were proven to be nonsense, completely untrue, by information received from within the Science Museum ITSELF using the Freedom of Information Act.

He also appears to be of a very nervous nature as he has stated ( in writing to me) that the risk of model aircraft operation at Wroughton has become too great to bear !

Further, I was present at Wroughton when a fullsize glider outlanded there. The pilot was refused an aerotow retrieve back to Dunstable by Moore as such posed “too much risk to the collection” stored there. Conditions were perfect for an aerotow, and I speak as a gliding instructor and tug pilot. Perhaps Moore should consider his minimal risk in comparison to that recently undertaken by the glider pilot, an army engineer ( major) relaxing in his glider after a tour in Afghanistan on IED disposal, arguably the worlds most hazardous occupation, and which saved countless lives and serious injury of our servicemen and women.

So, the tug was turned back, a trailer sent by road , glider derigged and trailered back to Dunstable and rerigged, all because of Moores total lack of willingness to allow the aerotow for pathetic reasons known only to himself. Moore totally pales in comparison to people such as that officer, frankly, he disgusts me.

Are people such as Moore really the best the Science Museum can find, I utterly despair of his like ?

Last edited by RetiredBA/BY; 11th Jun 2019 at 16:11.
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Old 11th Jun 2019, 22:41
  #66 (permalink)  
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Old 12th Jun 2019, 02:06
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Took my young niece to The Science Museum a couple of years ago.We found a Mediator radar-suite from West Drayton there,but the Flight Progress Strips all seemed to be displayed in a random order.So, I thought that I would re- arrange them as they should be.But............they were all stuck down and couldn't be moved !
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Old 12th Jun 2019, 06:29
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ex82watcher View Post
But............they were all stuck down and couldn't be moved !
That's probably the only reason they were still there.

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Old 12th Jun 2019, 08:00
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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RetiredBA/BY, how right you are!

A colleague used to fly his Hawker Fury ISS at Wroughton, The Science Museum people couldn't have been more unhelpful if they'd tried. One of them accused him of flying 'aerobatics' over 'their' aerodrome 'without permission'.... Of course he was well above 500' a.g.l. and Lyneham were perfectly happy.

Eventually he had to move the aeroplane elsewhere due to the attitude of the Museum.

'Dog in the Manger' just about sums up their attitude.
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Old 12th Jun 2019, 15:01
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, indeed, that sums up the attitude of the management of the SM. Moore appears to have absolutely NO Understanding of the AIr Navigation Order and airspace categories. The 500 feet rule is beyond their grasp.

What was worse was that after the glider incident , and finding that aerotow recoveries were not permitted, I told SM that I would ask the BGA to advise glider pilots of the fact. Along comes a certain Ben Melham, a SM manager of some form, asking me, telling me, NOT to advise the BGA of the situation.

I still have not worked out the logic of his utterly pointless request/instruction, crass beyond belief ! ...... and WE taxpayers pay these guys !


And it gets worse. After discovering the nonsense I had uncovered at the SM. I wrote to the Chair of Trustees, Mary Archer, expressing my deep concern at the ineptitude I had discovered, once to Kensington once to her home address offering to brief her of the situation. No reply !

I also wrote to all Trustees, again, no reply.
Perhaps, just perhaps, there was some form of interference here from the Director, I have my suspicions.

Following a meeting with my MP, the PM, I had a meeting with the COO but he flatly refused to discuss Wroughton. Too embarrassed?

There is most clearly something seriously wrong, deficient, with the management of the aviation aspect of OUR Science Museum.

The facts speak for themselves and I have a considerable amount of documentation to fully verify my statements, both electronic and on paper.





Last edited by RetiredBA/BY; 12th Jun 2019 at 15:17.
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Old 15th Jun 2019, 13:15
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Today is the 100th anniversary of the Alcock and Brown Transatlantic crossing.

The aircraft resides in the Science Museum at Kensington. What an incredible chance for a huge celebration , but what did Blatchford, the Director, and his team do to mark the occasion. Absolutely nothing as far as I know.

..... and what about a celebration , again with a huge potential fund raising, of the 75 th anniversary of the E28/39 flight at Cranwell in 1941. That aircraft, too, resides at Kensington. Again nothing.

I am utterly convinced that the present Science Museum management, so far as aviation is concerned are totally unfit for purpose.
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Old 17th Jun 2019, 13:35
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At least the Royal Mail noticed the centenary, just received a letter from UK postmarked with fact that it was posted on the centenary of the Alcock and Brown achievement
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Old 17th Jun 2019, 14:06
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Very sad to read this, I ahvent been to the Sm for years but it does perhaps reflect the neglect of our aviation history in this country. I live close to Farnborough where the excellent Farnborough Air Sciences Trust has its (too) small museum with some fascinating exhibits but it seemingly never has as much money or promotion as it should. Ina very small compound between the museum building and the road are among others A Lightning, Jaguar, Harrier, plus assorted helis a Trident nose and a target drone all looking -and I mean absolutely no disrespect tot he people who work their) pretty much ready for a firedump because their just isnt the room to properly display them.

it just seems part of the general air of neglect we have in the UK for some of the better aspects of our past and there is no doubt we were once a real superpower in this field and it deserves better. Needs space I know but I was pretty shocked to read about the indifference the main conserving authority? for this kind of thing shows towards it. After all in 100 years time when we have no industry of any kind what are we going to put in a museum of the early 21st Century ? Airbus bits, built in UK , but not UK owned , some RR bits and pieces , an Easy jet check in bag measurer, A Ryanair seat back , a poster from 2050 commemorating the tenth anniversary of the opening of R3 at LHR . Shame if todays efforts just all rotted away
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Old 17th Jun 2019, 15:07
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I too was disappointed that more was not made of the Alcock & Brown centenary.

To try to give a bit of perspective, I understand that there is only one curator responsible for Aviation and Space, and the museum is preparing to move its collections out of Blythe House in London to a new store at Wroughton in 2020. According to https://group.sciencemuseum.org.uk/w...ew-2017-18.pdf "once complete, the facility will be home to more than 80% of the Group’s collection and will be accessible to the public through tours, school and research visits." Preparartion for the move will be very labour-intensive and may not need much spare energy for exhibition work.

I suspect also that the museum is nowadays focussing on cutting-edge science and technology, rather than technology that was leading the world decades ago. Perhaps aviation technology is seen as having reached something of a plateau, although there is scope for highlighting the ways in which the industry is striving to reduce its environmental impact, and perhaps other developments such as new fuels.
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 08:57
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I have sent the enclosed letter to Matt Moore, Ian Blatchford the Director and Jonathan Newby the COO. I will keep you posted on any reply.

Dear Mr Moore,

The situation at Wroughton re the three aircraft you are trying to dispose of is being discussed on the professional pilot forum.

I have enclosed three typical examples.

Would you please respond to the aviation journalist. Would you please advise us why, as the manager at Wroughton, funded by we taxpayers, you did not bother to reply to the letter. The public has right to expect professional and courteous responses. A response from Robert James and Will Stanley is also expected. Your reply, or lack of it, will be posted on the public forum .

Yours faithfully,

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Old 20th Jun 2019, 09:57
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Ina very small compound between the museum building and the road are among others A Lightning, Jaguar, Harrier, plus assorted helis a Trident nose and a target drone all looking -and I mean absolutely no disrespect to the people who work their) pretty much ready for a firedump
This remark is inaccurate and untrue, and I say that as someone who as pointed a camera at many a fire dump relic
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 17:36
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot View Post
This remark is inaccurate and untrue, and I say that as someone who as pointed a camera at many a fire dump relic
Indeed so.









Amongst others.

https://www.airsciences.org.uk/aircraft.html
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Old 28th Jul 2019, 13:32
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Originally Posted by RetiredBA/BY View Post
I have sent the enclosed letter to Matt Moore, Ian Blatchford the Director and Jonathan Newby the COO. I will keep you posted on any reply.

Dear Mr Moore,

The situation at Wroughton re the three aircraft you are trying to dispose of is being discussed on the professional pilot forum.

I have enclosed three typical examples.

Would you please respond to the aviation journalist. Would you please advise us why, as the manager at Wroughton, funded by we taxpayers, you did not bother to reply to the letter. The public has right to expect professional and courteous responses. A response from Robert James and Will Stanley is also expected. Your reply, or lack of it, will be posted on the public forum .

Yours faithfully,
Well here we are 5 weeks after I wrote to Moore and copied in his boss, Ian Blatchford. As usual the Science Museum people have not bothered to respond, they really are the most arrogant of people, arrogance matched only by their incompetence and disinterst so far as aviation is concerned.

I have just returned from Moscow, where I was a guest of our Defence Attache who took me to a couple of aviation museums. What I found in the (superb) aerospace hall in the Moscow nations park,was that where guides could speak English they were only too pleased to discuss, with great pride and enthusiasm, those exhibits in their care, even inviting me to sit in a seat used on a Soyuz mission. Now, try finding anyone in the Aviation Hall at Kensington,who has the slightest knowledge of, or interest in, their exhibits !!

The handling of our aviation heritage in the care of the Science Museum is a national disgrace, something I would be delighted to elaborate on and explain to any forum.

In comparison the STEM marquee at RIAT was brilliant, with many passionate , enthusiastic hosts from major companies and universities, trying to get my grandson away was an uphill struggle !

Last edited by RetiredBA/BY; 28th Jul 2019 at 14:53.
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Old 28th Jul 2019, 14:33
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Wonder why they choose not to reply....??
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Old 28th Jul 2019, 14:44
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Planemike View Post
Wonder why they choose not to reply....??
Too embarrassed to admit their errors and or incompetence ??
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