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Brooklands Fire, October 1936

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Brooklands Fire, October 1936

Old 22nd Oct 2011, 19:02
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Brooklands Fire, October 1936

Hi, Forumites:
Does anybody have details/Registrations of the aircraft destroyed in a hangar fire which occured at Brooklands, Surrey on the 24th October, 1936??
Apparently, eight aircraft were destroyed...
Tia
Andy Emacare
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Old 12th Jul 2019, 16:42
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I don't have a comprehensive list but the victims included Avro Avians G-EBVA and G-EBXE.
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Old 13th Jul 2019, 12:22
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Brooklands Hangar Fire

Originally Posted by eMACaRe View Post
Hi, Forumites:
Does anybody have details/Registrations of the aircraft destroyed in a hangar fire which occurred at Brooklands, Surrey on the 24th October, 1936??
Apparently, eight aircraft were destroyed...
Tia
Andy Emacare

Perhaps it was just six! . . .Sources differ. One site mentions that:: A further 32 planes were moved to safety . . . .
However, a brisk peregrination around the early 'G-' aircraft register reveals only four of the planes destroyed . . .

G-ACLI Miles M2 Hawk -
G-ABVJ DH Fox Moth
G-EBVA Avro 594 Avian III
G-EBXE Avro 594 Avian III

Plus, a contemporary 'news' item - published 29.10.36 - from the inestimable Flight Archive says that only SIX planes were dbf!

Business as Usual
DESPITE the fire which broke out on Saturday and caused a considerable amount of damage, the Brooklands Flying Club put in some fifteen hours' flying on Sunday. Business is, in fact, going on as usual, and, though the offices were burnt, telephonic communication has been restored. This fire started under the engine shop from a cause that is, as yet, unexplained, and spread very rapidly so that the first large hangar was ablaze within a very few minutes and the second hangar soon followed. Members, instructors and mechanics demonstrated great loyalty and courage in removing all machines save six. The rescued craft were housed, through the generosity of Mr. Maxwell Muller, the American director of Vickers, in this company's flight shed. It is more than a pity that the engine shop should have suffered, since this was one of the best in the country, outside the repair shops of manufacturers.


'BUSINESS AS USUAL' advert here
https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarch...0-%202938.html

Several sources, which I believe to be wrong, do suggest that EIGHT planes were lost but I can find nothing to back this up. One site also includes AVRO 504 - G-ADGM as being one of the 'Eight'. It WAS operated by Brooklands Aviation and might well have been there except for the small fact it was doing joyrides on Camber Sands - but did crash and catch fire that same day! 24.10.36 . . . ASN link here

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/203884

. . . so that leaves just 'two' to identify . . . the truth is out there . . . anyone else like to 'have a go' .....!

Last edited by Fournierf5; 13th Jul 2019 at 18:20. Reason: ACLI corrected!
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Old 13th Jul 2019, 16:37
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I assume that the first registration (that of the Hawk) has been mistranscribed and should be G-ACLI.

I wish you luck, FournierF5, in your quest to identify the 'missing two' - but you may find it no easier than my quest to identify the 'missing three' civil aeroplanes stored at Lympne Aerodrome which were destroyed in the 1940 German bombing raids on the field. So far I've identified ten of the thirteen, but I'm having difficulty with the remaining three.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 12:06
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In conjunction with Ron Paine, who was there that day, I wrote this up in the Brooklands Society Gazette, 2001. Aircraft lost were:-
G-ACLI owned by Steve Cliff, the first Cabin Hawk with Gipsy III.
G-EBXE Avian owned by FL Wilson who was glad to see it go as he'd been trying to sell it for a year.
G-EBVA Avian who had only been bought secondhand a month before by Walter Mason
G-ADGM 504N as recorded by Air Britain, but Ron didn't remember it being involved.
G-ABVJ Fox Moth. Same comment.
Ron did remember a Gipsy III engined Klemm, one of a number of aircraft modified by Brookland Aviation. It was stored under the mezzanine used for engine overhaul
where the fire started and 'stood no chance'. I've not been able to determine which Klemm this might have been. G-AATD was based at Brooklands around this time, but has post 1936 recorded history so unlikely.
I hope the above is of interest.
Ron had a number of photographs of the event, but nothing was left of the aircraft really that would allow one to identify something. He did have a picture of a burnt out Rudge motor-cycle. His photos went to the Brooklands Museum, but I've been unable to access them since his death.
​​​​​​​Feroxeng
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Old 20th Jul 2019, 16:07
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Thankyou to 'feroxeng' for this. . . It's unlikely we will improve on an 'eye-witness' account . . . but still interesting to note that all contemporaneous newspaper articles - including The Times the so called paper of record! - reference 'eight planes destroyed' and that Flight magazine, published a few days later, reduces this to six. Ron Paine's recall is probably correct regarding G-ADGM - which ASN insists crashed at Camber Sands that day. However ASN is equally keen to assert that G-ABVJ was in fact dbf at Brooklands.
If we include the 'Klemm', reg unknown, that only makes five planes lost. So was there some impromptu 'creative or lateral thinking' shenanigans to add to the insurance losses - FL Wilson being 'glad to see it go as he'd been trying to sell it for a year'? I guess we'll never know!
I wonder if Ron Paine's pictures are actually on display at Brooklands or stuffed in a drawer, inaccessible for 'elf & safety or data protection' reasons. Next time I'm passing I'll check.
Anyway, I'm done and meanwhile the sun is shining, the sparrows in my garden are complaining the bird-feeder's gone tits up - as it were - and my beans have got blight . . . straight on 'til morning . . . .
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Old 20th Jul 2019, 17:29
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[QUOTE=feroxeng;10518299
Ron had a number of photographs of the event, but nothing was left of the aircraft really that would allow one to identify something. He did have a picture of a burnt out Rudge motor-cycle. His photos went to the Brooklands Museum, but I've been unable to access them since his death.
​​​​​​​Feroxeng[/QUOTE]

I wonder if his nephew can shed more light on this?
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Old 23rd Jul 2019, 11:37
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If anyone wants a copy of the Brooklands Society article please PM me with contact details. The article uses one photo of the whole floor area of the hangar with essentially a lot of rubbish on the floor with absolutely nothing identifiable. The brick side walls were all that was left standing.
Regarding the Klemm, it is possible that the ever-so-accurate Ron was actually referring to a BA Swallow, but I haven't checked these for fates.
Air-Britain has 'DGM dbf at Brooklands.
Feroxeng
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 19:03
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If anyone wants a copy of the Brooklands Society article please PM me with contact details

PM sent!
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 16:39
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Feroxeng

Are you “GS”?
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Old 26th Jul 2019, 21:58
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Originally Posted by IFPS man View Post
Are you “GS”?
For my sins, yes!
Feroxeng
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