Image: Allan Winn, Museum Director (Centre), Gillian French and Cath Hare joined by the team of staff and volunteers.
Earlier this year, the Barnes Wallis Stratosphere Chamber Exhibition at Brooklands Museum in Weybridge was formally opened following a project of restoration thanks to the AIM/Biffa Award National Heritage Landmarks Partnership (NHLP) Scheme. The unique high-altitude research facility, built in 1947, has been restored and re-interpreted, enabling the Chamber and the Museum’s world-class collection of aero engines to be fully open to the public for the first time.
In November, Gillian French and Cath Hare from the Biffa Award team were delighted to be invited to visit the Museum and find out for themselves what the funding had meant to the team of staff and volunteers who run the museum.
It seems that volunteers and visitors alike are struck by the sheer size and scope of the Chamber, and the new interpretation is going a long way to bringing the incredible history of the space to life for a whole new generation.
Volunteer, Chris Roberts, said:
“My lasting impression about the Barnes Wallis Stratosphere Chamber is the enormity of the project. Considering that nothing like it had been constructed before, it was an amazing feat to design and build such a structure, along with all the plant needed, to achieve the design objective of replicating the pressure and temperature conditions at up to 70,000ft.”
One of the visitor comments reported by another volunteer, Bob Stace, was:
“What an amazing piece of engineering, I never realised so much testing went into aircraft 50 years ago.”
The full story on the official opening of the Stratosphere Chamber Exhibition, which was attending by Biffa Award Board member Jackie Doone, can be found HERE and more information about Brooklands Museum is available HERE.