Bristol Aero Collection: Storage sought

A temporary store is being sought for the Bristol Aero Collection (BAC) until a permanent museum can be built.

The exhibits charting 100 years of the city's aviation history must leave the hangar where they are currently displayed in November, when the lease runs out.

The exhibition closes to the public on 28 May to give a working party six months to pack it all up.

The collection has been at Kemble Airfield, Gloucestershire for 15 years.

Oliver Dearden, from BAC, said: "It's a sad time in one respect. We always knew this may happen, but you always think it might not.

"On the other hand, there are possibilities of finding a more permanent site at Filton and hopefully all the bits and pieces will come together.

"It's always been a long-term objective to have a museum at Filton."

Engines and missiles

A proposal for a museum at Cribbs Causeway by The Concorde Trust - to house both the collection and the last Concorde to fly - stalled after a £9m Heritage Lottery Fund bid was turned down in 2011.

A spokesman for BAC said: "Discussions are still continuing over the eventual development of a museum in the Filton area to house not only Bristol's Concorde 216 but also the aero collection."

BAC was formed in 1988 and became a registered charity in 1992.

The collection of artefacts and archives set out the achievements and history of 100 years of aviation and associated industries originating from the Bristol Aeroplane Company.

Among the exhibits are a Bristol Babe biplane, a Sycamore helicopter and a Harrier jump jet.

There are also engines, missiles, weapons and spacecraft.

"There are a lot of things to pack up and put in boxes. We have to protect it because quite a lot of it is valuable," Mr Dearden said.

The collection will remain open to the public on Sundays and Mondays until the end of May.

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