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15 hours ago

Sywell Aviation Museum
The future of Sywell Aerodrome’s longest resident aeroplane is now secure ❤️As many of you may know things have been a bit up in the Air with G-AKIN over the last few months.See below a statement form the Sywell Messenger Trust and the New Custodians of the Aeroplane Alan and Phil Hardwick.This page will remain open to continue to follow the life of Messenger G-AKINMiles Messenger G-AKIN to remain based and operational at SywellOn the 11th April 1952, Miles Messenger G-AKIN was relocated from Cambridge airport to Sywell and has been in operation from the same airfield ever since. Following an announcement in February 2024 that the aeroplane was to be put up for sale, a solution to keep it airworthy and based at Sywell had to be been found. The next chapter in the history of “The Sywell Messenger” is now ready to begin.Built in 1947 and originally sold to the Everard brewing family of Leicestershire the aircraft passed to farming family R. Spiller and Sons in 1949. It remained with the Spillers until 2002 when Norman, the last of the Spiller family to cease flying, placed his family’s beloved G-AKIN in the care of Sywell Messenger Trust. The aim of the trust the was to keep the aeroplane airworthy and operational from Sywell while educating future generations about British aviation heritage.Alan and Phil HarwickFor over two decades the Trust successfully operated the Messenger, however it recently became apparent the current operating arrangements were no longer viable and it was time to find new custodians of G-AKIN. Today, on the 72nd anniversary of her arrival at Sywell, brothers and aviation enthusiasts Alan and Phil Hardwick are excited to announce they have purchased this historic aircraft and importantly, will continue to base and operate it from Sywell.Alan and Phil attribute much of their enthusiasm for aviation to their late father who, after apprenticing at the Bristol Aeroplane company went on to spend his career with British Aerospace at both Filton and Stevenage sites. Alan is a private pilot with a passion for vintage aircraft and Phil is a retired air traffic controller. They decided to make a proposal to The Sywell Messenger Trust to become the new custodians of the Messenger in memory of their father and become only the fourth owners of the aeroplane. When G-AKIN reaches 75 years of continuous operation from Sywell in April 2027 they look forward to marking the milestone, a record beaten (as far as we know ) only by the DH60 at Shuttleworth.The Sywell Messenger TrustFollowing the announcement by the Sywell Mesenger Trust that, after 21 years, they were no longer financially able to operate Miles Messenger G-AKIN The Trust is very pleased to announce that a suitable solution has been found.The Trust was approached by Sywell based Tiger Moth operator and vintage aircraft enthusiast Alan Hardwick with a plan to acquire G-AKIN with the sole aim of maintaining her in flying condition and continuing her long association with Sywell aerodrome.The Trust had looked at all the proposals put forward by various parties and have decided that the best possible outcome for the future of the Aeroplane was the one put forward by Alan and his brother Phil.In all decisions the safe future of the Aeroplane was paramount, this we feel has been achieved in the best possible way.All proceeds from the change of ownership have been donated to the Sywell based Thomas Castle Aviation Heritage Scholaship, it was felt that TCAHS was the perfect recipient of the donation, not only is it Sywell based, thus continuing the Sywell Legacy, but also its aims to introduce vintage aviation to young aviators continues The Messenger Trusts aims and goals.Tom was a much loved and valued member of the Sywell family and the Trust is very pleased it has been able to help TCAHS to continue their great work in Tom’s memory. See MoreSee Less
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ADVANCED WARNING – 1/48 ALPHAFLIGHT SHORT SUNDERLAND MODEL KIT AUCTION STARTS ON THIS PAGE ON MONDAY!Good morning folks, as regular followers will know the good folk at Models For Sale Ltd – modelsforsale.com plastic model kits have very kindly donated an ultra rare 1/48 scale Short Sunderland III multimedia model kit for us to auction to raise funds to keep the Museum running ❤️The auction will start on our Facebook page on the morning of Monday 15th April and run until 2100hrs on Sunday 21st April 2024 at 2100hrs (Facebook time!)Full details, terms and conditions will be published on Monday on this page when the auction starts.Don’t forget to be eligible to bid you must ‘like and follow’ our page! 🫡Thanks so much again to Vince and the Models for Sale team for their kind support! See MoreSee Less
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NEW WARTIME HISTORY UNCOVERED IN KETTERINGThe Sywell Aviation Museum was recently called in to advise in respect of a new Wartime discovery in Kettering.Recent clearance work at St Peters School, Kettering has uncovered a long lost air raid shelter in excellent condition. It is of a distinctive design often found on London Midland Scottish railway sites and as the School is adjacent to the former Kettering marshalling yards is likely to have been constructed for that purpose.The main school building, Sunnylands, was built in 1893 to be the home of the Timpson family (they of the High Street key-cutting business) and was designed by JA Gotch, it is now Grade II listed. In 1946 St Peter’s School was founded as a co-educational independent preparatory day school, and its first Headmistress was Miss Joyce Rutherford. Alan Timpson, son of William Timpson was one of the Founders of the school and members of the Timpson family still visit their former family home to this day.The headmaster, Mr Thomas, is very keen to receive any information relating to the shelter and would like to restore it for educational and community use.With thanks to St Peters School & Museum Trustee, Adrian Armishaw. See MoreSee Less
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HAVE YOU SEEN ALFIE?Regular followers of our page will know that last week we took delivery of a De Havilland Red Top air to air missile as a new addition to our ordnance collection. As we were in a bit of a rush to put it on display before our Grand Opening at the weekend, regrettably we didn’t check it as thoroughly as we should have.As such we regret to report that one of our younger visitors was fiddling with it today and with an enormous amount of smoke it activated and young Alfie was seen exiting the Museum building at a considerable velocity, (believed to be around Mach 2) in any event certainly quicker than he entered.Alfie was last seen astride the Red Top in a parabolic curve heading over Mears Ashby. If anyone finds him (or any constituent parts) please notify the Museum and we will attempt to return him to his parents (who to their credit have taken it well, having repaired to the Aviator bar for a beer, their parting shots being ‘he was a little so and so over the weekend so it will probably do him good’ which we thought was pretty decent of them actually.)Many thanks 🙂🫡 See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Sywell Aviation Museum
CALLING ALL MODELLERS! Regular followers will know that the Museum has an excellent relationship with the good folk at Models For Sale who have been supporting us for many years.Yesterday at the Grand Opening Vince very kindly donated this superb 1/48 (yes 1/48!) scale Alpha Flight Short Sunderland resin model kit to the Museum to help raise funds! Regular followers will know that occasionally we hold auctions on this page (in previous years we have auctioned off a 1/24 Avro Lancaster and 1/32 Blackburn Buccaneer both donated by MFS) and this super Sunderland will be up for auction soon on this page so don’t forget to ‘like and follow’ our page for more info!In the meantime huge thanks as ever to Vince and team who are fab people and only based down the road in Raunds…❤️Why not check out their website here?www.modelsforsale.comHappy Easter everyone 🫡 See MoreSee Less
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EASTER GRAND OPENING HUGE SUCCESS!Huge thanks to all of our visitors, re-enactors, pilots, traders, entertainers and vehicle owners for attending our Grand Opening today and especially to our volunteers who work so hard to bring you this free event once a year!We were somewhat scuppered by the field being so boggy, but we were able to use the hard standing which is smaller but meant you wouldn’t get stuck! We appreciate that some people were frustrated that we were full at at the peak time- but we did the best we could 🙂Superstars include the delightful May Blossom, DJ Kelv, and of course Uncle Pete in his marvellous Russian Spitfire! Thank you all, you’re brilliant!We’re now open each weekend and bank holiday between 1030-1630 until the end of September- remember we’re free to visit but we welcome your donations! Feel free to post your pics of the day below❤️Have a great Easter! The SAM team See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Sywell Aviation Museum
WE SPEAK TO THE ORGANISERS OF SYWELL AIRSHOW 2024!🫡 See MoreSee Less
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