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BBC Surrey has taken an interest in XP. They contacted us on Wednesday to ask to meet us at Gatwick at first sparrow flatulence the following day for a live interview. Fine, except that taking members of the public airside on a live international airport isn't a simple undertaking.

Once again, though, the Gatwick guys came through for us and made it all happen, though I didn't feel quite so grateful getting up at 4am for the schlep down five consecutive motorways.

Sadly, our time airside didn't allow both radio and TV to record my geriatric ramblings. Our apologies go to Elaine and the team at BBC TV that they missed out. We promise to put you first for the next one!

A video extract from the interview is below. It's worth mentioning that it makes it sound as though G-CEXP was the aircraft flown by Prince Philip. That distinction belongs to G-APWA, which you'll find at the Museum of Berkshire Aviation.

The full interview (sounding as if I'm breaking in new teeth) is here



There's a healthy population of lunatics like UKHAT working on precious old aircraft. While far too many have been lost, it's gratifying to see an increasing awareness of the value of these classic machines; if only the same could be said of the many historic airfield buildings that continue to be destroyed in the name of progress. Earlier this week we learned that the jet testing tunnels where Frank Whittle worked are under threat from the redevelopment of Coventry Airport.
There's some good news, such as the Control towers and fighter pens at RAF Culmhead, which are designated as Scheduled Ancient Monuments and are included in the Heritage at Risk Register by English Heritage.

But it's not enough. This is a cause that needs to be taken up. There is a fantastic group in the southwest, the South West Airfields Heritage Trust, who're already working hard to document the airfields in their area. That's a magnificent start, and an example to us all. Many control towers from the second world war and earlier are still restorable - they built things to last in those days! A dedicated group could bring them back into use, and they make a superb headquarters for a histoic aviation group or museum.

We're putting out a call to arms here. We've got our hands full for now with fundraising for XP to move to her new home, but we'd love to hear from anyone who knows of a valuable building, or - better still - has the appetite to start a group to save one of their local treasures.

Who's up for it?


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