THE GLIDING HERITAGE CENTRE - NEWS
We have had some very generous donations of late...
Thank you to John Hopkins for his donation of the Slingsby Prefect prototype. This glider show many detail differences from the Allison Prefect and makes a superb addition to the GHC collection. We intend to have it flying next season and sure they'll be a lot of people who'll want to get their hands on it.
Thanks must also go to Pete Purdie for the donation of his Zudvogel 3. This high performance wooden glider from the 1960's will make an excellent addition to the flying fleet, and now Daniel Chidley will face some stiff competition in Vintage Task Weeks.
On a more terrestrial level, thank you to Lemmy Tanner for the donation of his Ford Galaxy people carrier. We now have a more professional looking means to convey visitors across the airfield to our hangars without having to rely on volunteers cars.
Finally, thanks to Gordon MacDonald for the donation of his Hyundai SUV. We now are building quite a decent fleet of glider tow out vehicles.
GHC Autumn 2018 Newsletter is Here!
Catch up on the latest happenings in the Gliding Heritage Centre in our latest autumn newsletter, read it Here.
Hangar 2 Is Open For Business!
After a build of just over a year by GHC volunteers, we are proud to open our second hangar to house the ever growing collection of GHC gliders.
At our opening event held at Lasham Airfield on the 25th August 2018, we were honored to have Sir John Allison, former chief of R.A.F. Strike Command as our guest.
Sir John flew with Gary Pullen in our T21 for a short soaring flight of 25 minutes, reminding him of his earliest gliding experiences at Coventry Gliding Club in the late 1950's.
The first single seater glider that Sir John flew was our Slingsby Prefect, which he later came to own before very genorously donating it towards our collection.
We were delighted to have over 150 supporters, donors, enthusiasts and visitors come to our opening ceremony from all over the country. Despites some initial doubts about the weather the sky cleared and we were blessed by late summer sunshine. The proceedings were opened by GHC Chairman Tony Newbery who welcomed everyone to the event and then thanked all the volunteers and benefactors for their continueing support. He then invited long time VGC and GHC member Geoff Moore to give a brief speech.
Geoff spoke about how he had been first introduced to vintage gliding by the late Chris Wills in the 1960's and had attended an auction in Germany were he bid for and won his Mu-13d.
Always keen to support the GHC, and looking for an opportunity to preserve his Mu-13, Geoff was quick to donate his Mu to the collection in the early days of the GHC. In recognition of this and the other ways he has supported us we asked him to unveil a plaque commemorating noteworthy donors to the GHC Hangar 2 project.
Next it was the turn of Sir John Allison who spoke of his support for the aims of the Gliding Heritage Centre and how he did not feel that the GHC was a museum in the tradition sense. He spoke that he loved the fact that we like to fly our aircraft and compared traditional museums to that of a moth collection where dead moths were lined up in neat rows and pinned to a board. He then cut the ribbon opening the hangar and we all flooded in.
The Gliding Heritage Centre would like to thank all our volunteers and benefactors who did so much to make the Hangar 2 project such a success. We'd also like to thank Sir John Allison and Geoff Moore for their enduring support of the Gliding Heritage Centre and for taking part in the opening ceremony.
At the Gliding Heritage Centre nothing stands still for long and we are looking towards the next stage in our development. This next stage will be in the form of a fully equipped workshop that we will use to maintain and restore our collection. We are still drawing up plans, but we hope to have details for you before too long.
The Beast Gets New Clothes!
The Gliding Heritage Centre would like to thank Andy Blundell from Vertigo Covers for his support on supplying the Beast's new shiny coat.
Now we can be reassured that the huge and pristine canopy will be kept safe from the sun and that any water ingress into the cockpit will be minimised.
GHC Hangar 2 Opening - 25th August 2018 - 5pm!
It does not seem that just a year ago the space occupied by GHC Hangar 2 was nothing more than open ground.
Thanks to all our supporters, who have been so willing to donate their money and time we are proud to announce that Hangar will receive its official opening on the 25th August 2018.
It is an amazing acheivement that GHC members and volunteers found the strength to build another hangar to protect and preserve the UK's gliding heritage.
We are really looking forward to sharing this exciting event with all our friends and supporters.
We will of course keep you updated with more details of this exciting event as they become available.
Hangar 2 Making Great Progress!
We finished laying the concrete for hangar 2's floor Friday 25th May. It was a huge effort but thanks to up to 26 volunteers at a time we were able to complete the task in a little over six weeks, in a total of eight pouring sessions.
There is one thing that we have all learned a great deal about and that is laying concrete! We have discovered the joys of pouring, raking, tamping and floating; all vital jobs that have given us results that professional builders would be proud of.
It has been a bit of a journey since we started in the spring, but again we have proved that once we set ourselves a task we pull it off.
It seems incredible now that this time last year, the location of H2 was nothing more than a piece of scrub land between Gary's shed and the Chris Wills hangar.
The ground was cleared during the summer and the first concrete was poured into the footings in late August, by Christmas the structure of the building was in place and the doors had been fabricated and hung.
At this point we could at least use the hangar for winter storage, this was compatible with our charitable status because it meant that we could still derive benefit from the building even if no further work took place.
With the building complete we could landscape the surrounding meadow and lay a road that could be used by the concrete lorries when they came and also to wheel gliders in and out of the hangar when it becomes operational.
In April it became clear that the weather was warm enough as there were no more frosts, so we could begin laying the floor and thus work could begin.
It's fair to say that the job was pretty daunting, but everyone wanted to get a great result, and no one wanted a DIY disaster; so we put our backs into it and got it done!
It's also true to say that none of this would have been possible without the inspirational leadership of Gary Pullen and the organisational skills of Julian Ben-David. We owe a massive debt of grattitude to them both.
If we had not had these guys at the forefront of the project then it just would not have happened, or we would have spent much more money getting the building made professionally.
There is still some work to do to complete the building; the insides need to be completed to make the hangar a fit place to store aircraft. The floor will be painted and lighting is to be installed, a general cleaning up of the interior is needed to remove the detritus left behind by the heavy work.
So that leaves the question of when do we expect to have the grand opening ceremony? We are expecting it to occur in early autumn, depending on the availability of key elements and personel. One thing is for sure though, it be a grand opening night indeed!
Historic Gliding Videos Released!
The Gliding Heritage Centre is proud to announce that a whole series of rare vintage gliding videos are now available for everyone to enjoy.
Ever wondered what it was like to experience gliding in the 1930s through to the 1950s? Now you can find out with the GHC vintage video archive. Watch the early pioneers soaring over Tower Hill in Australia in 1931 through to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh attending the 1957 UK National Gliding Championships, on our videos page. Enjoy the show!
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