Inspired - Science Museum, Swindon

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Inspired - Science Museum, Swindon

Postby Eamonn » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:00 am

The Science Museum has around quarter of a million exhibits showing the history of man's ingenuity. This includes a substantial collection related to transport. Presently, the museum has space to display only a small fraction of these items with the remainder in storage in less than ideal conditions in dilapidated WW2 hangars on a 500 acre site at Wroughton, near Swindon.

The Science Museum plans to reconstruct two of these giant hangars and link them with a state-of-the-art atrium to provide acres of exhibition space that will enable it to display the whole collection.

This is not an appeal for money, but money does come into it - lottery money, a 50 million lottery jackpot that is to be decided by a public vote following a series of TV programmes that will go out in December.

Inspired is one of six projects vying for this 'winner take all' funding. The other projects are all worthy causes, but none is so urgent or so important for our future: as one colleague commented "cycle paths and tree-top walkways can be built tomorrow, endangered artefacts can't wait".

[url="http://www.fbhvc.co.uk/news/inspired.htm"]Click here for more details[/url]

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Inspired - Science Museum, Swindon

Postby jwakefield » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:00 pm

I recently asked about a visit for my local bus club to the Science Museum's Wroughton reserve collection. Some interesting vehicles buses, lorries, cars, motor bikes, aircraft & even a steam boat. I was quoted 360 (including VAT) for a weekday visit, (twenty people at 18 each) The museum stated they would have to take staff off other duties to show us around. This would be for only one hanger, there are I believe three. Quite frankly this is an outrageous charge when the Science Museum is government financed & we are already paying for this as tax payers.
It begs the question. What purpose does Wroughton serve? none of the vehicles (to my knowledge) ever appear in public, and many are in a delapidated condition, they never have public open days.


Edited by - jwakefield on 24 Sep 2011 8:06:06 PM

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Inspired - Science Museum, Swindon

Postby DWS » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:53 pm

I visited Wroughton when it was an RAF Hospital...


But that's another story.
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Inspired - Science Museum, Swindon

Postby Malleon » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:55 pm

Please Snowdrop,
Do tell ! The suspense is becoming unbearable.
My breath is bated...
Now where did I put those chlorophyl tablets ?

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Inspired - Science Museum, Swindon

Postby John Donne » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:22 am

Wroughton had an invitation to owners of Percival aircraft, and organized a Percival aircraft day, back in the mid 1990's. My friend Alan owned at the time ( it is now in a museum in the midlands) an ex RAF 6 seater, Percival Prentice. We flew to Wroughton, around the Heathrow air taffic control zone, and landed at Wroughton. All the hangers were open so i had a wonder around the exhibits. It did look a bit shabby at the time, but every thing was open to be viewed. There was also a car rally at the time in the next field where our aeroplane was parked. I always remember a Porche owner trying to get in an have a look at the aeroplanes parked in the field, and he was refused entry. Pat and i looked at him and both thought "you may have a Porce but we arrived in our own aeroplane" If the Science Museum puts on these type of days for access to their hangers why can they not do it again, or in the future? There was a DH Mosiquito that flew in to this fly in, and i saw it take of. One of its engines was running a bit on the rich side. A while later it crashed and was destroyed, but what an incredable sight, and sound as it lined up, hit full power to take off and exsit the zone.

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Inspired - Science Museum, Swindon

Postby jwakefield » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:06 pm

The last time I went to Wroughton was in 2004 when a bus rally was held there & three of the hangers were open with 'vintage' buses running between them.
The place is closed for visits due to 'elth & safety, but something needs to be done to secure the future of the many exhibits there. Last year they sold off a very rare AEC Q bus chassis which appeared at Cheffins Classic Auction in Cambridgshire & is now stored in Norfolk & in private hands,looks like other exhibits could also be sold off. With a bit of investment & marketing Wroughton could become like the IWM at Duxford which after all started out as a store for their Lambeth museum, but is now a major attraction.
I have emailed Ian Blatchford the Science Museum Director to complain, maybe others would do likewise. His email address is Ian.Blatchford@ScienceMuseum.org.uk

Edited by - jwakefield on 25 Sep 2011 12:13:53 PM

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Inspired - Science Museum, Swindon

Postby DWS » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:02 pm

quote:
Please Snowdrop,
Do tell ! The suspense is becoming unbearable.


Oh, alright. A few months after undergoing a Hernia operation I went to RAF Hospital Wrought for a final check-up, on the day the sun was shining so I rode my 1958 Matchless G80 from RAF Shawbury in Shropshire down to RAF Wrought in Wiltshire. On seeing me in motorcycle gear and hearing I had ridden 130 miles on an old british single with a kick start I got right telling off from the Doctor (a Squadron Leader) who saw me. It was a nice ride though.
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