HQCP Chairman Martin Young and Secretary Andy Cooper visited Old Warden Aerodrome, near Biggleswade in Bedfordshire in mid-January, for discussions over placing an orientation board beside The Shuttleworth Collection's Bleriot XI aeroplane to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1.
This orientation board will highlight the role of the aeroplane in the early years of World War 1 in the Allied Air Forces, as well as Harriet Quimby's pioneering flight in the same aeroplane. A similar orientation board is also in production and will go on display in Dover Transport Museum, Whitfield, to accompany a brand new display of WW1 artifacts which the Project is contributing towards. It is hoped that the new displays will go on display simultaneously in Old Warden Aerodrome and Dover Transport Museum from Easter throughout the Summer season and draw large numbers in both attractions.
Martin & Andy are also working on updating The Collection's displays featuring early female aviators, which is very basic at the moment. The pair are hoping that this will be start of a long and productive partnership between the Harriet Quimby Centenary Project and The Shuttleworth Collection which has just received a £2.8m funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in order to extend facilities there. Visitor numbers for 2014 are expected to rise from 12,000 per annum to 42,000; the Harriet Quimby Centenary Project hope that the profile of Harriet Quimby will be substantially raised as a result of the new co-operation and that further supporters will come on board as a result.
The orientation board now takes pride of place next to the oldest original Bleriot XI aircraft at the Shuttleworth Collection.