AISLE CHAT 1 by Sally Stewardess
Welcome to the first Aisle Chat to not only compliment the excellent Ramp Ramblings but to keep you all up to date with the improvements going on up and down the aisle in the British Airliner Collection.
It was thought some time ago to standardise the displays on board each aircraft with interesting suitable descriptions, to give a consistent history and heritage of these British built unique aircraft to appeal to all ages and gender. It is hoped to roll this idea out to all aircraft in the future. The themes highlighted as of particular interest come under 5 identified topics:
2. Passenger experience,
3. Era of travel,
4. Aircraft routes served
5. Aircraft specific topics: why are they in our collection?
Each of these 5 topics is to have authentic memorabilia sourced and displayed with some items being redistributed to their correct aircraft era.
To this will be added the audio/visual experience, such as the cockpit sounds on the Comet and in the rear the short newsreel items of the delivery of the first 2 comet 4’s etc.
All internal displays are to be applicable to that aircraft and flag, as well as being subject to annual change to keep them fresh and interesting for the visiting public to enjoy.
A full report will be given soon about the exciting changes.
Over the past 18 months the Comet has had its displays upgraded to reflect these changes, there is now a mannequin in an authentic BOAC stewardess uniform from 1958 and very soon the lighting for her will be upgraded.
The rear toilets have been populated with Elizabeth Arden and Yardley products as provided by BOAC for passengers to use.
There is now a seated male mannequin in Captain’s attire to give an authentic feel to the cockpit with other useful props.
The changes have been well received by the public and in many cases led to trips down memory lane and further dialogue with the stewards on duty.
In addition to the cockpit flooring and seat recovering already mentioned in the Ramp Ramblings 5, there will be enlarged A0 explanations of the cockpits dials and switches, always of interest to the visitors!
The displays have been redressed to reflect the new topics with the inclusion of several new items.
The Trident instruments have been relocated back into the cockpit racks, all items not needed for displays returned to the archive, all tired dog-eared items removed and surfaces cleaned. New artificial fronts added to the galley’s to give more authentic impression of these areas. The front toilet opened, and ready for display with lighting to be switched on again.
There are now the original curtains in place (around the doors and galley. Lighting in the front galley paving the way for a male mannequin steward to be put in place.
Towards the rear of the aircraft is a stewardess in a BEA Hardy Amies uniform of the era. There are tray settings and other items for the visitor to enjoy and reflect upon.
There are also files describing the Nicosia conflict with extensive photographs and another with original photos of G-AVFB, together with copies of original Trident adverts, plus 2 Trident magazines and a book on the history of the Trident for all to enjoy.
A British Airliner Collection mat has been ordered for the entrance foyer to reinforce to the visitors they are boarding a private collection and not property of the IWM. It is hoped once each aircraft has been uplifted, there will be a mat to mark completion of this process.
Flooring has been completed, VC10 memorabilia added to and display cabinets found audio visual system being fitted. 2 female stewardess mannequins will be on board soon in their 1970 uniforms.
Exciting times watch this space.