British AirwaysSunday, 9 March 2014
Got a few hours to kill at Heathrow? Well if you’ve arranged it in advance – or you’re an important enough British Airways or One World frequent flyer – you could go have a look at the British Airways Speedbird Centre, a neat little museum tracking the Imperial Airways, BOAC, BEA, BA story with aircraft models, pictures, postcards, posters even stewardesses’ uniforms.
A cutaway model of a BOAC Boeing Stratocruiser of the 1950s. ▼
When I was a small child I crossed the Atlantic on the old four-engined propeller-driven Statocruisers a number of times when my father was working for BOAC in Nassau in the Bahamas. This rather faded old photograph was taken by him, or click here for more of my father’s vintage BOAC photos. ▼
The centre is at the British Airways headquarters building at Waterside, just a five minute bus ride on the staff bus from Heathrow Terminal 5. You need permission to ride the bus or to park your car in the Waterside car park – email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 8562 5777.
▲ At the end of ‘The Street’ which runs through the centre of Waterside I was surprised to come upon this familiar sculpture. It’s by Andy Goldsworthy who specialises in producing sculptures in natural materials, like this one known as Cairn. It’s familiar because you can find another version of it on Herring Island the outdoor sculpture island in the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia. The island is about half way between my home in Melbourne and the city centre, I occasionally paddle down to the island in my kayak.