A group of Isle of Wight aviation enthusiasts gathered together on 13 April 2016, to hear about the proposal to create an IW Aviation and Heritage Museum.
Members of IW Flying Cub, the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Britten Norman Aircraft Preservation Society, Solent Aviatrix, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Air Training Corps, and the Hornets Model Flying Club, together with other aviation enthusiasts listened to the irrefutable argument made by John Kenyon, “No single centre exists on the Island, where the heritage of aviation can be exhibited, seen and experienced by the public in one location, for the benefit of our visitors to the Island and for future generations to behold.“ The meeting unanimously agreed that the Island needs such a Centre.
Dr Geoff Witt told the story of the Spartan G-ABYN and the incredible history of Dorothy Spicer, the world’s first fully qualified female aeronautical engineer in the world. She qualified in secret at Saunders Roe in Cowes and worked on Spartan planes at Somerton. Dorothy, together with pilot Pauline Gower, cut a formidable flying duo in their Spartan 3-Seater, aptly named as Helen of Troy.
Two proposed sites were discussed, namely, Sandown Airfield and the Wight Heritage Military & Heritage Museum at Northwood.
John Kenyon presented an outline business plan to build the Museum, for which a Heritage Lottery Grant could later be submitted. A number of volunteers then offered to serve on a Steering Committee to progress the project.
Further information sessions will take place on the Island later this year to brief other heritage organisations, ferry companies, travel and tourist organisations and the general public.
In the meantime, the organisers would welcome any offers of financial help and support of any kind for both the Spartan and the Museum. These will be warmly received by Dr Geoff Witt on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by John Kenyon on email@example.com
Follow this link to read the full report on the Press Release on IW Aviation Museum Launch Meeting outcomes 13 April 2016AK
A year ago, April 2015, Solent Aviatrix launched the idea of bringing the Spartan back to the Isle of Wight. You can follow progress on this website.