Heritage Centre Events in 2017
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A New Arrival For 2018
An iconic aircraft of the Second World War has been acquired by Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre. The Avro Anson, a Mk. C19, No. TX226 was built at Yeadon in 1946 and is currently stored near Coventry airport. It should arrive at Montrose early in 2018 when it will undergo a rebuild by a team of the centre’s volunteer engineers in our new restoration workshop.
This will be the second acquisition of an important WWII aircraft for the Heritage Centre this year. In March the Heritage centre took delivery of a Miles M.2H Hawk Major, one of only two examples of the type in Britain. The Hawk was acquired from the RAF Museum Reserve Collection and its arrival marked a significant success for the centre as it had faced strong competition for the aircraft from other establishments.
Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre chairman Ron Morris said “The arrival of the Anson will make a significant contribution to our endeavours to show the aircraft that once flew from Montrose, Scotland’s contribution to the RAF, and our efforts to preserve the past for future generations.”
Ansons of Coastal Command were based at Montrose from 1939 and throughout the Second World War, operating with 269 Squadron flying reconnaissance patrols up the east coast.
Flying from Montrose, Flt Sgt Tony Reen (later Flt Lt) was on 269 Squadron when war broke out, flying Ansons on patrols in the North Sea. On February 23rd 1940 he successfully attacked and sunk an enemy submarine off Cape Wrath. Tony Reen DFM was a founder member at the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre and a display case at the centre features his uniform and medals, which include Norway’s highest gallantry award – the War Cross with Sword. On leaving the RAF after the war, Tony settled in Montrose with his wife Muriel.
With 10,996 built, the Anson had an extremely long service life. The Anson entered RAF service in March 1936 and remained in use until 1968. Initially it was flown with a 3-man crew but later developments in its reconnaissance role required a 4th crew member. In addition to coastal patrol and training roles, Ansons also provided support for the Air Transport Auxiliary.
Event to to commemorate the death of pilots killed in training at RFC Montrose
A Ceremony was held at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre on Friday 1st September to commemorate the death of pilots killed in training at RFC Montrose including Lieutenant the Hon Francis McLaren MP who was killed in a flying accident at Montrose on 30th August 1917.
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When the First World War broke out in August 1914 McLaren volunteered for active service. He was commissioned in the RNVR and fought at Gallipoli with the armoured car detachment. He was invalided out of the service but joined the RFC and trained to fly at Montrose. He was killed on his last solo flight when his aircraft, an Avro 504, crashed into the sea off Montrose.
The invited guests included his great nephew Charles, Lord Aberconway, great niece Diana McLaren, grandson the Revd Richard McLaren, Angus MP Kirstene Hair, Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Gougeon, Lord Lieutenant for Angus (Deputy) the Earl of Dalhousie and the Provost of Angus, Councillor Ronnie Proctor.
The guests were welcomed by the chairman of the Heritage Centre Ron Morris followed by speeches from The Provost of Angus, Councillor Ronnie Proctor, Group Captain Bob Kemp, Scottish Commemoration Panel and Charles McLaren, Lord Aberconway.
A very poignant and moving reading was given by Mrs Diana McLaren followed by prayers from the Reverend Richard McLaren, grandson of Francis McLaren. The Last Post was played by Charlie Gibson.
The Ceremony was concluded by a flypast by Dr Neil Geddes in a replica WWI SE5 aircraft.
Squadron Scramble !!!
FREE FAMILY OPEN WEEKEND EVENT
Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th August 2017
The two day event was a great success with 2,173 visitors attending the museum and fly-in.
58 light aircraft from Scotland and England took advantage of the good weather and flew in to the airfield.
The ‘Russians in Scotland’ exhibition is reopened
On 10th May an expanded “The Russians in Scotland” exhibition was reopen in the Richard Moss Building. The ceremony was attended by Anna Belorusova, the Russian historian whose grandfather Commander Peter Kolesnikov, one of the pilots involved in the clandestine operation. The exhibition was opened by Georgiana Osborne, Lord Lieutenant for Angus and the Russian Consul General Andrey A Pritsepov. Other guests included Anastasia Ilinskaya, Russian Vice Consul General and the family of Peter Petrovichev one of the Russian airmen who trained at RAF Errol and returned to his homeland with an Arctic Convoy sailing from Loch Ewe.
Volunteer Marie Paton talks to Georgiana Osborne,
Lord Lieutenant for Angus
Georgiana Osborne Lord Lieutenant Angus, Andrey A Pritsepov Russian Consul General, Anna Belorusova & Valery Petrovichev
Scottish Parliament congratulates Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre
Liam Kerr, MSP for North East Scotland has put forward the following motion in the Scottish Parliament:
Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre Secures Rare Aircraft .
‘That the Parliament congratulates Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre on the addition of a Miles M.2H Hawk Major aircraft to its collection; recognises that this Second World War-aircraft is very rare, with only 145 being made, and commends the volunteer-run centre on what it considers its significant achievement in acquiring this in the face of competition from other museums across the country.’ Link to Scottish Parliament motion
Chairman Alan Doe (right) with volunteer Ron Morris (left) giving Liam Kerr MSP an enjoyable tour of the Heritage Centre.
Liam Kerr MSP went on to say “First class trip to Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre to follow up my motion in Parliament congratulating them on the addition of a Miles M.2H Hawk Major aircraft to its collection. Well worth a visit – we were there for an hour and there was so much more to see and learn. Highly recommended!” .
The Moss Building has been moved – February 2017
A new building will be erected this year which will give the Heritage Centre a facility for renovating aircraft in a controlled environment.
To make space for the new building it was necessary to move an existing building a short distance. This would be an expensive but necessary part of the project requiring the hire of a large mobile. Thankfully a local company Whyte Cargo Ltd stepped in with an amazing offer to do it for free. The company operates from Montrose Harbour and they are experts in cargo handling. Pipeshield International Ltd (Montrose) also helped by providing a spreader beam which was essential for the lift.
The crew from Whyte Cargo Ltd arrived on a bright sunny day with an impressive crane and smoothly moved the building to its new position.
THE EAGLE HAS LANDED!
Those four words have become a part of history and whilst we haven’t had an Eagle landing, our very own Hawk has just arrived.
The Hawk in question is a Miles M.2H Hawk Major, a rare aircraft from the 1930’s, which has been transported to Montrose from the RAF Museum’s store in Stafford. Last year the Heritage Centre fought off tough competition in its bid to be given the rare aircraft by the RAF Museum in London.
Getting the aircraft to Montrose was a big problem as hiring a company to transport it from Stafford would present a large financial burden to the Heritage Centre. Fortunately one of our members, Simon Law, is a transport manager with John Lewis in Edinburgh. The company supports charities directly and John Lewis agreed to sponsor the move of the Hawk. Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre is very grateful to the John Lewis Partnership for its support and to the RAF Museum for the aircraft.
Brief History of G-ADMW / DG590
Miles M.2H Hawk Major G-ADMW was originally delivered to W.R. Norman at Heston in August 1935 and went on to fly with the Portsmouth Aero Club. In early 1941 it moved to Broxbourne where it was impressed by the RAF for wartime service and given serial number DG590.
In September 1946 the aircraft went back to Miles Aircraft at Woodley, Reading, and was used by the Reading Aero Club.
In 0ctober 1952, J.P. Gunner acquired the machine, basing it at Sleap. After being withdrawn from use in July 1965 it joined the RAF Museum collection and was repainted in its impressment colours as DG590
It is one of only two examples of the type in Britain.
Visit by MSP
The Heritage Centre has had a VIP visitor. Mairi Evans is the MSP (Member of Scottish Parliament) for Angus North and Mearns and she had a tour of the Heritage Centre to see for herself the great work being carried out by the volunteers.
She said she was absolutely blown away by what was there and described it as one of the hidden gems of Angus. She went on to say that she would do all she can to support the Heritage Centre.
Alan Doe, chairman of the Heritage Centre said “We want to appeal to everyone not just aircraft enthusiasts and we are always thinking of new ways to attract visitors. If you don’t expand, you stay still and eventually start to go backwards. We have a lot of ideas of how we can improve but, as always, finance is our enemy. We have done very well out of Heritage Lottery Funding since 2004 and have been hugely supported by Angus Council but we still need support to improve our site and hope that Mairi Evans can help us.”