2016 to date
2016 dawned with the prospect of some very busy times ahead. Great news this year was to see, with the kind permission of The Hooton Park Trust the returning of the Aviation and Military Fairs to Hooton Park. The sound of the Merlin engine running gave a feeling of nostalgia to both the public and stall holders that eagerly supported the return of these events after 15 years.
As some of the grant funding stipulations were that the hangar site should have an open aspect so all the buildings could be seen we were informed that the gates had to be taken down on the volunteer’s cabin and yard office had to be removed.. Without hesitation and in support of the changes we embarked and yet another downsizing exercise. Which hopefully will be the last? A rare unrestored Bedford Beagle Bus was given a home and an Ex RAFA Bedford TK, which had been used by Prestwick Airport, was donated to The Griffin Trust. The two huge generators in the back were soon working. We will still continue to assist The Hooton Park Trust in many ways. Permission for the second wall to be taken down in MT1 was approved by the local council.
We were pleased to see the Horse Draw Tram return back to the Tram Museum in Birkenhead where it is now destine for a complete restoration. The Bedford Beagle Bus project was deemed too big and costly to pursue. New owners who have now completely renovated it to the highest standard (another vehicle saved with the help of us).
The Bedford TK cab was restored using a second hand cab which was purchased at an auction. This has now been used by our metal fabricator to restore the original cab and doors. The generators have also been fired up and seem to be in good order.
Aviation Fairs carried on and other smaller fund raising events exercises will be further investigated to be staged once the yard is cleared. We continue to support the Hooton Park Trust with ground maintenance, item repair and other such assistance.
Earlier, in this year, an unexpected grant from our local councillor was used to generate much needed finds.
In March the 4th Aviation & Militia Fair was staged. Even when the snow was on the ground many traders when safe to do so still supported us. As did other supportive organizations. Not for getting the general public who would not be beaten by the very cold freezing weather.
As spring eventually arrived a very dilapidated storage cabin started to be transformed into the new oasis volunteer cafe in line with the ruling by the council that the MT yard had to be cleared. The entire interior was up-cycled from the old Oasis. Its transformation was expertly completely in late June. Now with the gardens beautifully set in front of it and the original name sign soon to be re hung its back to being home from home.
In July the demolishing the old Oasis started in line with the local Council's directive deadline of the end of August. It has now been completed. The yard office will also be re-located at the rear of MT2.
The last and final stage of the clear up including all the remaining storage cabins being sorted will be concluded by the autumn.
In readiness for another a new phase of our history which is soon coming up to 30yrs of being on this unique and enthralling Hooton Park Hangar site. We will continue hanging on!