Helicopter Museum reveals ambitions for new entrance as 'temporary' 1988 building is deteriorating

PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 May 2017

John Todd and his 1946 Chevrolet pickup.

John Todd and his 1946 Chevrolet pickup.

Archant

Trustees at a helicopter museum on the outskirts of Weston-super-Mare have revealed their ambitions to build a new entrance to the site, as the current building is deteriorating.

Steve and Tina Morris and thier dog Bella enjoying the comforts of their 1977 Dodge B200 Tradesman.Steve and Tina Morris and thier dog Bella enjoying the comforts of their 1977 Dodge B200 Tradesman.

The Helicopter Museum, in Locking Moor Road, Locking, hosted a Cadillacs And ‘Copters event at the weekend to start raising money for its latest refurbishment project.

The museum entrance, which includes the admission area, some displays and a café, has been based in the same building since the site opened in 1988.

It was always supposed to be a temporary building and is now getting to the point where it needs to be replaced.

Mike Palmer and his Cadillac Coupe deVille with Rocking Jerry and his Buick Roadmaster convertable.Mike Palmer and his Cadillac Coupe deVille with Rocking Jerry and his Buick Roadmaster convertable.

Elfan Ap Rees, chair of trustees at the museum, said: “We are having increasing problems with it so we are in the early stages of trying to replace it.

“We are running out of under-cover space and have got planning permission for another hanger, but we have not got the money for it unfortunately, and the condition of the visitor services building is deteriorating to such an extent we have got to make it a priority.

“We are aware the building we are using for people to come into is not very attractive.”

Nick Parker with his 1957 Plymouth Belvedere.Nick Parker with his 1957 Plymouth Belvedere.

If the project goes ahead, it would be the second major development at the museum after its pilot block and control tower were given a £134,000 transformation to showcase Weston’s aviation history earlier this year.

MORE: History of the Helicopter Museum’s control tower and pilot block.
Students from Weston College and volunteers contributed to the building work to keep the cost down, which could be replicated with the new entrance.

Mr Ap Rees said: “I was really pleased with the results of the tower and pilot block.

Steve Murphy with his 1955 Station Wagon with an 8.2 litre supercharged engine.Steve Murphy with his 1955 Station Wagon with an 8.2 litre supercharged engine.

“It has opened up a completely new facet of the museum as a place of interest for people.”

The latest project could cost around £300,000 if the museum did much of the building work itself.

A planning application has not been submitted yet, but some companies have been shortlisted to come up with a suitable scheme.

Nigel Hankins and his 1960 Lincoln Mercury Continental.Nigel Hankins and his 1960 Lincoln Mercury Continental.

Fundraising is currently the museum’s focus, and trustees are drawing up grant applications.

Further events will follow too, after the Cadillacs And ‘Copters event was rated a success.

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