The Aeroplane Collection
The Aeroplane Collection began its life as the Northern Aircraft Preservation Society (NAPS) in October 1962.
It started with Avro 594 Avian IIIa G-EBZM; built at Newton Heath in 1928 , flew from Southport beach pre world war 2, progressively derelict post-war, rescued from Ringway by the Merseyside Group of Aviation Enthusiasts to prevent it from being burnt at Ringway, stored at Liverpool, thence to Lymm Grammar School. From there, in November 1962, it was removed by a group of young enthusiasts emerging from the mass of 'spotters' at Ringway. NAPS were the first voluntary aircraft preservation group in the country. By the end of 1963 NAPS had moved into rented garages at Stockport which it occupied for several years, a second derelict Avian was purchased for spares, the parts not required were moved on to Australia to help in a rebuild there.
In 1963 the society magazine 'Control Column' began to appear monthly to provide better grapevine between members.
More aircraft arrived in 1964 and 1965 including a 'Flying Flea'. Excellent press and television coverage in 1965 helped us to establish the Public image behind which we have been hiding ever since, also in 1965 work began on restoring the 'Flea' and at the time this was the only aircraft completed and on display. The problem being the lack of space to take on more than two projects although our aim was to collect as many aircraft as we could with the limited space.
In 1967 'Control Column' was offered as a national magazine and met with instant response from a number of Societies who accepted it as their house magazine. Through these pages new contacts were established and through it the first moves were made towards a co-ordinating body wherein all groups sharing this common interest might also share ideas and integrate policies without conflict. These moves were totally successful and the British Aircraft Preservation Council was created, later the name was changed slightly to the British Aviation Preservation Council to reflect the wider movement. At the time of writing affiliated members of the Council (BAPC) are: The Northern, Midland and South Wales Aircraft Preservation Societies, The Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm and Army Air Corps Museums, Imperial War Museum, Lincolnshire Aviation Museum, Newark Air Museum, Skyfame, Shuttleworth Collection, Southern Aircraft Preservation Group and the '49 Group'. BAPC is now well established. Financial problems compelled us reluctantly to hand over production of 'Control Column' to others.
By 1969 the Avian was virtually complete and only required flying wires and engine cowlings, this highlighted the difficulty we had in obtaining parts, there were no drawings available for the Avian after the fire at Avro's Chadderton factory and therefore we could only use pictures.