|Friends Of Holy Trinity Church, Meldreth
Registered Charity No. 289736
The meeting room was full to capacity for the presentation by Alan Reed. He gave an interesting and entertaining insight in to the Shuttleworth family history and the aircraft collection.
With connections to Gawthorpe Hall near Burnley and a background of manufacturing steam engines and agricultural machinery, the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden was created in memory of Richard Shuttleworth, by his mother, following his death in a wartime flying accident.
The aviation collection houses some of the rarest aeroplanes in the world, including one of the Bleriot series, which was the first to fly across the channel in 1909, a number of replicas built for "Those Magnificene Men in Their Flying Machines" and the winner of the England to Australia air race in 1934, a de Havilland DH988 Comet, which was designed and built in an amazingly short time of nine months.
The presentation was illustrated with excellent slides and technical details with some video clips of the collection in flight and also a visiting Spitfire with the roar of its Merlin engine.
Rebuilding and running the Collection is an expensive business at £1m per annum, with authentic materials like Egyptian cotton, used for the skins of the rarest aircraft, being £25 per square yard. The Collection is well worth visiting and there is an attractive Swiss Garden in the grounds.