I love a good day out and I’m always interested to find new places to take the boy. I had very little in the way of expectations when I went to Brooklands the other day, besides the fact that they had a Concorde. I was very happy to discover that it was filled with interesting exhibits, had a friendly feel, helpful staff and quite a bit that I think would interest the boy if we were to take him there, including what looks like a nice café and soft play area!
Here are some of the highlights. As an old airport worker, of course it was the planes that were most interesting to me, especially as there was a chance to go on concorde. I’d only been on board twice (never off the ground, sadly): one time when it came to Newcastle Airport and Dad managed to get us a look, second when I helped a wheelchair passenger one Christmas Day onto the Bay of Biscay Dinner flight.
They have quite a few planes at Brooklands; not quite the scale of the RAF Museum in North London, but impressive nonetheless.
The Vimy, designed as a long range bomber for use in the First World War, is a replica of the one that Alcock and Brown famously crossed the Atlantic in during the summer of 1919.
You can walk around inside the Vanguard and see how cargo is organised. There’s also a little bookshop on board and a replica black box flight recorder.
There are two very different VC-10 aircraft in Brooklands. One is your bog standard, British Airways passenger jet.
The other belonged to the Sultan of Oman, and comes with a range of fancy trimmings despite its tired, exterior appearance
There aren’t just passenger jets; there’s also a couple of Hawker Hunters in varying states of repair.
There are also some airport vehicles from days gone by that my Dad would probably recognise from British Caledonian, BEA, BOAC and British Airways.
The jewel in the crown, however, sits in amongst them all. Beautiful and stately, Concorde draws the eye wherever around you happen to be.
I live under the flightpath but I have to say the skies feel a little empty sometimes without what used to be a familiar sight at certain times of the day. Working at Heathrow, you always knew when it was 11am. The BA001 to New York would herald the hour with its trademark roar.
You can even look underneath at some of the innards (with a helpful guide to what they are).
There’s a whole part of the museum dedicated to the history of London Transport with lots of buses to look at. You can even get on one or two of them.
On top of that, there’s a great collection of cars and motorbikes from the last century and even further back.
Last but not least, there’s also a Raleigh Chopper in with all of it; the bike I had when I was little.
So, all in all it was a great day out. Lots to see and do.
Thanks for reading