'Beverley Corner' in Display Hangar 2 at Newark Air Museum has recently received a mini-makeover to allow for the display of a new exhibit; a hand-built sectionalised scale model (originally built at a scale of 1 inch = 1 foot) of a Blackburn Beverley C1 transport aircraft fuselage.
The model, which has been in deep storage at the museum for many years joins the cockpit section of Blackburn Beverley XB261 and the little publicised graphic display that has been prepared as a tribute to those that lost their lives in the Sutton Wick Beverley crash of March 5th 1957. Over recent months a special display cabinet to house the model has been constructed by one of the museum volunteers and both are now in situ.
Newark Air Museum has a long standing affinity for the Blackburn Beverley, having previously rescued a cockpit section from Beverley XL149 when it was scrapped in spring 1977 at RAF Finningley, just prior to the Queen's Silver Jubilee Review of the Royal Air Force. This cockpit section moved to another collection after the arrival of the cockpit section from the former Southend, Beverley XB261 in May 2004.
The Sutton Wick Beverley display was instigated by one of the museum employees' who was a RAF Police dog handler and the display commemorates the aircrew, RAF Police Officers, civilians and RAF Police dogs that were killed in the tragic crash of Beverley XH117 from 53 Squadron. The aircraft crashed at Sutton Wick, which is approximately 2 miles south of RAF Abingdon, whilst attempting to return to base after having just taken off en route to Cyprus via Malta. On board the aircraft were 18 personnel and 11 RAF Police dogs; only 3 personnel survived the crash; and 2 local villagers were also killed.
Checking the museum's accession register for the Beverley model indicates an uncanny parallel with the planned destination of the Beverley involved in the Sutton Wick crash. The model was donated to the museum in 1983 by a local Air Training Corps Squadron and preliminary refurbishment was carried out by a museum volunteer who was based at RAF Newton. When he was posted to Cyprus he managed to arrange for the model to be shipped to Cyprus, where the refurbishment work was completed. Having returned to the UK the model then was loaned to the Museum of Army Transport in Beverley and when that museum closed the model was returned to Newark and placed in storage.
Each year after the Remembrance Day Service at the RAF Winthorpe Memorial, museum volunteers move a wreath into Hangar 2 to honour those who lost their lives at Sutton Wick in 1957.
Photo Credit: Howard Heeley - Down To Earth Promotions