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Changes at Old Warden

Old 9th Aug 2021, 18:36
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Old Warden

Originally Posted by FL235 View Post
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.
I seem to recall that before 'Docklands' the view of London was nearly (or quite close) to Tower Bridge although at the usual TC heights and routing being spotted on radar was unlikely. At the 'Redhill end' it was not unusual for the phone to go in the evenings with reports of 'Turbs just gone past me at Crystal Palace', or 'Stampes coming back over Dorking' such was the jungle drum (pre interweb) comms system. On breakfast patrol Sundays this would also include reports of mass dog fights around the TMA !!!. Still goes on some places but not admitting where.
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Old 9th Aug 2021, 19:15
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If you really want to see an incompetent muppet who is absolutely clueless go the Science Museum manager at Wroughton, one Matt Moore.,The clown “running” this site is so incompetent the museum there was alllowed to fall into total disrepair on his watch.

​​….and the tax payer pays this guy !
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Old 9th Aug 2021, 21:40
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It seems quite incomprehensible to me how anyone presenting a business case would seek to prevent free public access to your shop and shopfront in order to improve interest in your warehouse.
One of the greatest joys of OW was the ability to pull in for a coffee, an ice cream or hust to get your breath back on a bile ride and be in the company of some piece of history, and maybe even see it running.
How many of those visitors then sais, "hey' lets's check this place out" and payed the entry to the main site?

Taking away the sweetener is simply idiocy!
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Old 9th Aug 2021, 21:44
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In a similar way my local supermarket, one of the big 4, that has lost trade to the German Discounters has decided to smarten up the car park, and although parking is free with no time limit, to enploy a parking app , Horizon, to offer spaces in the car park for £2.20 per hour...
Store manager has confirmed there are no plans to put in a time limit and also does not know why... but then I do know him and he can't be bothered with company speak...off the record 😊

and Ps we would visit Old Warden perhaps twice a year and I would pay to go through the hangers wile Mrs K would have a coffee and cake with the Grandchildren...
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Old 9th Aug 2021, 21:59
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
It seems quite incomprehensible to me how anyone presenting a business case would seek to prevent free public access to your shop and shopfront in order to improve interest in your warehouse.
One of the greatest joys of OW was the ability to pull in for a coffee, an ice cream or hust to get your breath back on a bile ride and be in the company of some piece of history, and maybe even see it running.
How many of those visitors then sais, "hey' lets's check this place out" and payed the entry to the main site?

Taking away the sweetener is simply idiocy!
Ahhh......be careful, you are using logic!!!
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 02:03
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Originally Posted by Nige321 View Post
There's a 'Strategic Plan' (It downloads a PDF) available from the Shuttleworth website.
It includes the usual corporate speak:


The general complaint on the Facebook pages and forums is that they are sucking the unique character out of the place...
The use of the terms BAME and BME are increasingly frowned upon because they emphasise certain ethnic minority groups (Asian and Black) whilst excluding others such as Mixed, Other and White ethnic minority groups.
Who ever was responsible for that needs to bone up on their minority awareness.


Last edited by LynxDriver; 10th Aug 2021 at 02:20.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 06:52
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Do we know how many visitors visit just for the shop and cafe?
Old Warden isn't exactly in the centre of town. Most people I would suggest commit to travel quite a distance to visit on an air show day or to visit the museum.
In the 30 years of travelling to Old Warden I have never once visited just for the shop or cafe.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 08:56
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"The use of the terms BAME and BME are increasingly frowned upon "

Being volunteered into a "diversity" group all I can say is that things have and are changing so fast in this field the terminology could well have dated back 8 months.

Most people accept any terms as evidence that you are at least trying - but if in doubt ask those directly affected
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 13:20
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Similar experience at Salisbury Cathedral last Thursday. Just having a wander round the town and strolled past the Cathedral towards the river .. was about to go in when saw the sign for £9.00 admission each ... carried on walking past.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 14:35
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Originally Posted by Dave Gittins View Post
Similar experience at Salisbury Cathedral last Thursday. Just having a wander round the town and strolled past the Cathedral towards the river .. was about to go in when saw the sign for £9.00 admission each ... carried on walking past.
St Paul's Cathedral is now £20. We have a (very) ancient ancestor in one of the tombs in there. It would be nice, if we have a visiting couple of relatives we are showing round London, to pop in and show this to them, which not that many years ago we would readily do. But now that's £80. To see our own family which they have made (a very small) part of their attraction.

Do Old Warden charge the aircraft owners as they come through the gates ? Maybe that's next.

Incidentally, St Paul's makes great play that they don't get any funding from the government. Which is true. They also say they don't get any financial support from the church. Also true. What they leave out is they have very substantial freehold land from long-ago bequests etc, across the City of London and elsewhere, which is on ground rent to City skyscrapers etc. Which gives a huge income. However do people think they managed to keep all looking fine and good for the past several hundred years before they started charging as well ?
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 17:42
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Originally Posted by munnst View Post
Do we know how many visitors visit just for the shop and cafe?
Old Warden isn't exactly in the centre of town. Most people I would suggest commit to travel quite a distance to visit on an air show day or to visit the museum.
In the 30 years of travelling to Old Warden I have never once visited just for the shop or cafe.
No, maybe not but you like me are not a "local".... I am sure there are "locals" who will drop by to use the café, meet friends etc. Also mention was made of cycling/motor cycling clubs who arrange to meet there. The idea just seems poorly thought through.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 20:59
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[QUOTE=Planemike;11093131]No, maybe not but you like me are not a "local".... I am sure there are "locals" who will drop by to use the café, meet friends etc. Also mention was made of cycling/motor cycling clubs who arrange to meet there. The idea just seems poorly thought through.[/QUOTE

I am a local and we used to meet at OW with son in law, wife and granddaughter. An hour on the playground for the granddaughter, a mooch in the shop (which always ended up buying something!) and 5 breakfasts in the cafe….all in out that’s about £40-45 a trip. As a family, I don’t think we are unique as a family, lots of local families with children used the playground and probably bought food, drinks and food from the cafe.

My brother in law is a member of motor cycling club in Luton and him and his mates used to visit on a regular basis…..now more.

“Poorly thought through” is a polite way of putting it. OW will not be getting anymore of my money in the future.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 22:02
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Evanelpus, couldn't agree more.
My bike group used OW as a regular and favourite watering/cake hole.
I regularly used it as a surprise/treat stopoff with friends when out for the day as the atmosphere was so special, Hey! lets grab an icecream and lo and behold you're licking the drips off in front of an SE5 or Pup. It never failed to impress even the most uninterested females, though I can't vouch for BAMEs.
This is proper human-level access to aviation on a scale all but lost nowdays, a scale that made even veteran flying seem accessible to all. What better way to enthuse youngsters than have them gawping at dope and drippping castor oil across a simple farm fence?

Old Warden is a National Treasure, it seems beyond comprehension that they'd restrict glimpses of the delights within from passers-by when the hardcore attendees will always attend anyway - but how can this increase attendance ot revenue? Clearly it can only have the opposite effect! . By doing this they simply ensure they'll never increase attendance. What is the point of that?

Shuttleworth Trust, sack this buffoon forthwith and revert to open gate, open cafe, for your very survival.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 22:43
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Just an example of how museums have been hijacked by the politically correct crowd:

It is a few years since I visited Shildon railway museum in Durham (part of the Science Museum), and I was considering another visit. I looked on the website to check whether any special events were planned. Nothing about special locomotives, but a couple of events taking place throughout 2021:

· Climate Talks, a series of panel discussions, Q&As and events exploring the problems caused by climate change

· Open talk - Explore the issues around diversity and inclusion in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths)

If I had wanted to learn about climate change or diversity I could switch on practically any programme on BBC. Nowhere seems to be immune from the woke agenda these days.
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Old 11th Aug 2021, 09:10
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They have to do it to tick the right boxes on any funding application - take it from me - I know.

Any funder or charity, especially a Govt body - now asks questions about inclusivity, climate change etc - because THEY are asked the same questions by their masters in a chain that (eventually) answers to the media.

The answer is not to attend the special meetings - but they'll just record they held one, not the numbers turning up (that's what we do.....)
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Old 11th Aug 2021, 09:34
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St Paul's Cathedral is now £20. We have a (very) ancient ancestor in one of the tombs in there. It would be nice, if we have a visiting couple of relatives we are showing round London, to pop in and show this to them, which not that many years ago we would readily do. But now that's £80. To see our own family which they have made (a very small) part of their attraction.
Tell them you require to be let in for free or you'll take your ancestor somewhere else.
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Old 11th Aug 2021, 12:02
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Available for Hire.
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Old 11th Aug 2021, 12:34
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Needs two of them; he's in there with his wife ... !
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Old 11th Aug 2021, 13:05
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How does Old Warden think it's different from Redhill ?

Redhill has a very nice café with an outside seating area immediately adjacent to the taxiway, which attracts lots of locals, people with kids, push bikelists, etc. No charge other than to buy stuff from the caff and as a bonus you get to watch us playing with our aeroplanes, watching he plodicopter and air ambulance and the fixed wing and helicopter training flights at quite a busy airfield (at least at weekends).

Can't imagine anybody would expect to charge admission to watch us messing about.

Last edited by Dave Gittins; 11th Aug 2021 at 13:42. Reason: carp spelling
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Old 11th Aug 2021, 13:38
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Needs two of them; he's in there with his wife ... !
Hang-on there


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