Montrose Air Station Crowdfunder Takes Flight

An Angus tourist attraction has passed the halfway point of a lifeline coronavirus crowdfunder.

Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre launched the £5,000 campaign to help it through the “unprecedented threat” of closing its doors due to Covid-19.

Volunteers are now planning the reopening of the Broomfield centre which is on the site of Britain’s first air station, opened in February 1913 – but have also been doing lockdown homework on one of its rare exhibits.

“The consequences of having to lock our gates to visitors is having a considerable financial impact on our heritage site,” said a spokesperson.

“Our history proves, when threatened, we as friends and family pull together. We are asking for donations to allow us to preserve and maintain the museum and heritage site until we have successfully beaten this new threat.”

The Justgiving campaign now sits at just over £3,000 of its £5,000 target.

But volunteers have not been idle, with one, Sam Brown, repairing two of the windscreens from the museum’s Miles Hawk aircraft in his own garage.

He has replaced missing parts and resprayed the screens ready for installation once the centre reopens.

The Miles M.2H Hawk Major is one of only two examples of the type in Britain.

The two-seater was the forerunner of the Miles Magister trainer aircraft, some of which operated at Montrose during the Second World War to tutor flyers.

It arrived in Montrose after a successful bid by the heritage centre when London’s RAF Museum declared it surplus to requirements in 2017.

The plane has reinforced the centre’s links to the aircraft, which includes the career of Squadron Leader George Keith from Arbroath who trained on Miles Hawks and went on to fly over 130 missions with Bomber Command.

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