Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, as Patron of Aerospace Bristol, was the guest of honour at a celebratory dinner. The Princess formally opened the Concorde Hangar in front of a distinguished audience of invited guests ahead of the museum’s opening to the public later this year
The gala dinner marks an important milestone for Aerospace Bristol, as the new home of Concorde is now formally open for corporate and private events, award ceremonies, exhibitions, and as a very special wedding setting.
Professor Iain Gray CBE, Chairman of Aerospace Bristol, said “I am most grateful to Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of Aerospace Bristol, for so kindly accepting our invitation to join us for the inaugural dinner under the wings of Concorde. I understand The Princess has an interest in science, technology and engineering and these subjects are at the heart of Aerospace Bristol. When the museum opens to the public later this year, our exhibition, archives and learning programmes will encourage young people to join our great industry, as the school children of today become the engineers of tomorrow.”
During her visit, Her Royal Highness toured the site and met with many of the supporters and volunteers who have played an important role in making the new museum possible. Aerospace Bristol volunteers have contributed the remarkable sum of more than £1m worth of their time to the project and were recently honoured with the highest award for UK volunteer groups: The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The Award was presented by The Princess Royal to Mr. Oliver Dearden and Mr. Kenneth Ricketts who represented the 150 volunteers involved.
The new museum has been created from the ground up with the help of supporters who have contributed an amazing £17m to date. With £2m left to raise in order to see the £19m project through to completion, Aerospace Bristol is appealing for further support to bridge the significant funding shortfall and help achieve its goals of preserving and restoring Bristol’s aviation heritage and inspiring the next generation of engineers. Opportunities include joining the ‘Concorde Club’ by sponsoring a seat on the iconic supersonic jet, sponsoring a seat in the museum’s lecture theatre, sharing your Concorde story via a soon-to-be-launched online map, or kindly giving a donation via aerospacebristol.org.
Starting in the earliest days of powered flight, Aerospace Bristol will take visitors on an immersive journey through more than a century of incredible aviation achievements and fascinating tales of human endeavor. The stunning centerpiece will be Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, designed, built and tested in Bristol, she was the last Concorde to be built and the last to fly.