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Changes at Old Warden

Old 8th Aug 2021, 10:15
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Why not just put the prices up a bit in the cafe, control access properly, and avoid any acrimony? Lack of imagination maybe?
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 10:55
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I'm with esa-aardvark. The corporate-speak on the .pdf alone is enough to send shivers down my spine. Excellent for commuting to London from Biggleswade (59 mins), to say nothing of the new east-west (Oxford-Cambridge line), which will pass just north of Biggleswade.
Very heavy emphasis on training (which I imagine was how they got the lottery grant), but how many youngsters are interested in that sort of thing nowadays? We keep hearing that they are shying away from anything that looks vaguely like engineering.
Call me an old cynic, and I'll be happy to be proved wrong, but we've seen it all before. Coventry, Hatfield, Panshanger, Woodford, Wellesbourne Mountford, and many more. I suspect it is the thin end of a rather large wedge.
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 12:31
  #23 (permalink)  
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One other issue that has some relevance, particularly for the demographic of Shuttleworths supporters, is that even if you pay the SVAS membership, or the £15 to get in, you can no longer park anywhere near the hangars, you are parked in a field well away from the strip.
Fine for the able bodied, but many of the less agile are finding the half mile walk to the cafe/resturant/museum difficult.

The big take from the Facebook discussions is that the changes are eroding the relaxed atmosphere that Old Warden exudes.
It's no longer an airstrip with a museum, it's an 'attraction' with all of the corporate trappings that brings.

It sounds like the new managment know all about writing 'Strategic Plans', but sod-all about aeroplanes and aeroplane people...

Last edited by Nige321; 8th Aug 2021 at 12:41.
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 13:06
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Originally Posted by Nige321
One other issue that has some relevance, particularly for the demographic of Shuttleworths supporters, is that even if you pay the SVAS membership, or the £15 to get in, you can no longer park anywhere near the hangars, you are parked in a field well away from the strip.
Fine for the able bodied, but many of the less agile are finding the half mile walk to the cafe/resturant/museum difficult.

The big take from the Facebook discussions is that the changes are eroding the relaxed atmosphere that Old Warden exudes.
It's no longer an airstrip with a museum, it's an 'attraction' with all of the corporate trappings that brings.

It sounds like the new managment know all about writing 'Strategic Plans', but sod-all about aeroplanes and aeroplane people...
…..it’s all so sad that an iconic place like this is seemingly being driven into the ground. Surely there must be another motive, is it being lined up to be a “much needed” new housing estate?
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 13:47
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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There are a couple of recent less-than-complimentary reviews of Shuttleworth on Tripadvisor.

One reviewer reports that he was told the new £15 charge was a "Covid measure" (!) and, like many other would-be visitors on the day, he voted with his feet.

Another remarked that notwithstanding the new pricing regime, basics like keeping the toilets clean and unblocked appeared to be beyond the ability of the management.

Tellingly, neither review attracted a response from Shuttleworth, which says it all.
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 14:02
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To grow and diversify our audience to at least match the growth and diversity of our region and
To position the Trust as a valued local partner, a salient regional player, and a recognised national brand
I have spoken, I hope, comprehensible English all my life, including having much writing accepted by publishers with little or no changes.

I haven't got a clue what this rubbish means. Was it written in Serbo-Croat and then put through Google translate ?
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 14:05
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In response to Nige 321, I think I saw a golf type buggy being used to convey the less agile from the "new" carparking area to the hangar/cafe area when I visited last week. What I didn't see were the usual cycle clubs, bikers and classic cars which used to pile in for a bacon bap and a coffee. I always thought they were an attraction in and of themselves, especially on a Sunday morning..
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 16:20
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I regularly call into Old Warden when I’m passing for a coffee or tea. I have paid the full fees to go around the hangars on several occasions. The place has a unique charm. Regretfully this new, rather stupid idea will put paid to that. I’m guessing that all the corporate bs has been written by someone with a degree in museum management studies or something similar who believes they know how to run a museum. These people crop up everywhere, causing damage with silly ideas that don’t work outside a room full of flip charts and PowerPoint presentations. After the, often irretrievable, damage has been done they move on to another organisation to cause mayhem. I sincerely hope this doesn’t happen to Old Warden.
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 16:22
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LB...... You sum it up very well. !!
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 16:29
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Originally Posted by Planemike
LB...... You sum it up very well. !!
……seconded!

Perhaps the following is more apt?……”Before the, often irretrievable, damage has come to light, they move on to another organisation to cause mayhem.”

Last edited by mikemmb; 11th Aug 2021 at 13:14.
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 16:45
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Is it the same "expert" formerly from Duxford who knocked Flying Legends on the head ?
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 17:17
  #32 (permalink)  
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Well, I have been intending to make a pilgramage one last time - looks like I'd better get on with it. My late father had doneated things to them as his father was RFC (SE.5A pilot) and when we were children in Cambridge, visited many times.

The consultant garbage that WHBM quotes is high grade rubbish and I would not be in the least surprised at a long term agenda as suggested above.
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 18:28
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The visitor experience manager at Old Warden has only been in the job since March. Before that he had a similar role at the RAF Museum. Doesn't bode well.......

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/james-ponton-a8081969
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 20:05
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Originally Posted by horatio_b
The visitor experience manager at Old Warden has only been in the job since March. Before that he had a similar role at the RAF Museum. Doesn't bode well.......

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/james-ponton-a8081969
That figures.
It had to be a new nut-job that was ex-IWM or RAFM, after seeing that gobblydegook twaddle in the Strategic Plan.

As said above, knows how to write a politically correct Strategic Plan but knows the square root of FA about Old Warden and the people that visit there.

As also mentioned, the cafe drop visitors by classic car and bike clubs etc on Sunday run outs will likely now stop.

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Old 8th Aug 2021, 20:31
  #35 (permalink)  
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Just the words "strategic" and "plan" squirt a shot of cold urine into my heart...
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 21:26
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Big fan of OW. Had the sheer luck of a Spit pax flight from there.

long story.
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Old 9th Aug 2021, 08:25
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Sad to come across this thread, it does appear that the unique atmosphere is likely to be lost, irrespective of cost.

Do we have anyone with experience of the “blind them with b/s” jargon to mount a counterattack?

Have a great memory of flying a Turb Redhill - OW & return when the Tiger Club was visiting - Neil Williams doing ridiculous aeros at 500’ or less. And a summer afternoon view of London from over the Thames on the “no radio” corridor going N/S.

Long time ago, don’t suppose you could do it now.
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Old 9th Aug 2021, 15:44
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Looking at the profile this gentleman doesn't seem to spend very long at any of the place where he was employed.
Maybe there's a message there, and hope for the future?
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Old 9th Aug 2021, 16:41
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Originally Posted by bobward
Looking at the profile this gentleman doesn't seem to spend very long at any of the place where he was employed.
Maybe there's a message there, and hope for the future?
That was my reaction when I read his profile....certainly not gold watch material...!! Also have to wonder in how many cases he left to "advance his career"...?? Just have to worry about the mayhem left behind when/if he departs...
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Old 9th Aug 2021, 16:48
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Originally Posted by bobward
Looking at the profile this gentleman doesn't seem to spend very long at any of the place where he was employed.
Maybe there's a message there, and hope for the future?
Just so long as it doesn't mean he has managed to make a mess of each of them first
!
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