ACA Woking News by Paul Holden, PRO

18 February 2003


Julian Temple
Air Curator of the Brooklands Museum
Julian Temple
At their last monthly meeting, members were treated to a most entertaining talk from Archaeologist Julian Temple, who previously specialised in the study of old airfields, and in the history of the Miles Company at the former Reading aerodrome at Woodley, but who is currently Curator of Aviation at the Brooklands Museum.

His talk therefore centred on the history of Brooklands, which was a major aircraft factory during World War II, but is now a major Aviation Museum, well stocked with displays of historic aircraft, including replicas of the Bleriot machine in which he made the first Channel Crossing, and the Sopwith Camel. Sopwith was a major figure at Brooklands, where Harry Hawker was a remarkable test pilot.

Hurricanes were built at Brooklands, with George Bulman as Hawker’s Chief Test Pilot - and incidentally Hurricanes are now more valuable than Spitfires, as there are so few of them still in existence. Sir George Edwards made Brooklands his design headquarters, responsible for the Viking Airliner, the Varsity Trainer, and the famous Viscounts and VC 10 airliners. One of the largest hangars in Britain, the Cathedral Hangar, was built for finishing off the VC 10s.

When restoring their Viscount for display at the museum, vital parts for it were brought by road under the Thames from Southend, for assembly at Brooklands.

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