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in 1932. His later work included large 1930s terminal buildings in similar ‘Minimalist’ style at Birmingham and Jersey airports. Dawbarn also designed (in the shape of a question mark) the BBC Television Centre, officially opened in west London in 1960 and which is now being redevel- oped for commercial and residential use. Restored in the late 1980s, today the Aero Clubhouse is Grade 2 Listed and in commercial use by several businesses.


An ambitious flying display was staged by


The splendid Brooklands Aero Clubhouse seen here 85 years after it first opened on 28th May 1932 (Julian Temple).


continue in our off-site hangar store at Bicester Heritage, managing its contents which currently include four aviation-related vehicles and three replica aeroplanes as well as major parts of several others. As usual, we remain most grateful to these volunteers for their invaluable support in all of these ongoing tasks.


Regular assistance is still being given to support


the Brooklands Aircraft Factory project. Apart from helping Dave Cotton’s Hawker P.1127 restoration team with its latest moves and wing and engine crane jobs, as Brymor’s deadline for completing the restoration and repair of the Fin- ishing Straight fast approaches, our staff and vol- unteers have also been involved with moving the two Hawker Hunters as well as the fragile 1988 ‘Avroplane’ replica from the ‘Avroshed’. Disman- tled in May by Promow Landscapes, the latter building is currently being rebuilt near the foot of the Test Hill as near as possible to where the orig- inal stood in 1907/08 and this will enable several further areas of damaged Track to be repaired close to its previous location. Brooklands Aero Clubhouse The 85th anniversary of the historic Brooklands Aero Clubhouse beside Sopwith Drive deserves more than a brief mention in this report. Officially opened on 28th May 1932, and more recently also known as the Control Tower, this distinctive art deco-influenced building was designed by a talented Scottish architect named Graham R Dawbarn (1893-1976), who also founded leading airport architects Norman, Muntz and Dawbarn


57


Brooklands Aviation Ltd and the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators on 28th May 1932, billed as ‘England’s Greatest Civil Air Display’. Contemporary accounts of this event in The Aeroplane and Flight magazines make fascinating reading today – especially for the scope of the display items and variety of participating aeroplanes and pilots. Special guests included world record-breaking long distance pilots Amelia Earhart, Amy Johnson and Jim Mollison (engaged to Amy), who were of course already major celebrities at the time. Despite a rather wet morning, over 70 aircraft flew in and were parked beside the famous sewage farm before the flying programme began in the afternoon. This included impressive ‘crazy’ flying by George Lowdell, an aerial ‘duel’ between Hawker test pilots ‘George’ Bulman and Gerry Sayer flying a Fury and a Hart respectively and Flight stated that this was one of the best organised shows it had seen! Research


All of the above and many other topics too require planning and preparation and historical research and sometimes even archaeological investigations as well. Some subjects (for example the history of the site’s infrastructure and services) are now obscure with relatively few surviving records or physical evidence to provide the details being sought, but others (such as production figures for Brooklands-built aircraft) are in comparison vast in scope. Finding specific information requested by our various project teams, consultants and contractors can often be challenging – a recent example being the large, nine-metre high Score- board which is about to be reconstructed in the south east corner of the Paddock in July – I remain extremely grateful to everyone who continues to support us with this important work.


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