Sunday, 18 October 2015


The year so far has been a very frustrating one, but we have made progress on some fronts which is encouraging.

During the winter months, considerable progress had been made restoring the cabin floor with the floor being completed up to the Over Wing Emergency Exits by the time of the planned aviation fair at the end of June.

As this work has meant clearing a lot of the items stored in the aircraft, this has given us the opportunity to clear out a lot of rubbish, unwanted items and inventory what we do need. This has given us a considerable area of the cabin for a display telling the story of Charlie Fox.

Work also continued to progress the cockpit restoration, with a number of missing instruments being sourced and fitted.   

At the end of March, one of our volunteers, Delphine Ryan, started working for the Trust full time on a 6-month placement from her normal employer (the Ministry of Defence or MoD) as part of an engineering graduate scheme. This proved to be a considerable help in putting the Trust on a better footing, with the website being updated, detailed costings being put together for a number of grant applications and managing the project and volunteers.

We had intended to complete the paint stripping of the fuselage and apply a coat of primer during the summer months, but this proved not to be the case as the old apron at Speke was leased to Jaguar/Landrover from the end of June to the end of October, to store new vehicles. The timing could not have come at a worse time and without any notification, as it meant the annual Speke Aviation Fair had to be cancelled at short notice thus depriving the Trust of a good regular source of publicity and revenue. Moreover, we were unable to do any exterior work as the vehicle were parked within a few feet of the aircraft.

Instead, work continued on the cabin floor and the undercarriages which are located at a nearby workshop in Cheshire. These should be completed before the end of the year and returned to Speke.

During the coming winter months, we plan to continue with the cabin floor & cockpit restoration and start re-installing the cabin and cockpit lighting, this being among the priority jobs.

The 18th December will mark the 40th Anniversary of the final flight from Adelaide to the UK, when Charlie Fox landed back at Luton while in service with Monarch Airlines, thus completing over 11 years of operating the MoD flights to the Woomera Rocket Range in Australia. This also marked Monarch's final Britannia flight.

Our biggest challenges are still the weather when working outside (we need temperatures in excess of 20 ÂșC.

Any donations large or small are always appreciated to help bring Charlie Fox back to its former glory. Details of how you can make donations can be found on our website

Thank you for your support.

Roger Hargreaves
Britannia Aircraft Preservation Trust

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Latest Photos for June 2015

On Saturday 27th of June 2015, a friend of BAPT visited Speke with the view of taking a bunch of high-resolution, professional photographs for the website, our Facebook page and for general use. The result is very good and there are some great shots of the engine exhausts, the volunteers, the interior floor boards which we have been restoring, the cockpit etc.

We hope you enjoy those photos as much as we have!

Right wing and engine cowling
Newly paint-stipped nose

The nose from a different angle

Left wing and engine cowlings with Hangar 1 in the background

Inward left wing

Pitot probe

Side view with original Speke terminal (now hotel) in the background

Engine exhaust

Rear fuselage

Cockpit restoration has gone very well.

Our volunteers at work.

Our volunteers at work treating the floor rails.

Restoration of original floor boards has been moving well.

One of our younger volunteers on his lunch break!

All our volunteers on the day.

Another one of our volunteers on the day.

Very sleek exhaust.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Speke Aviation Fair - 28th June 2015

We are very sorry to announce that the yearly Speke Aviation Fair on 28 June 2015 has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances completely outside the control of the Speke Aerodrome Heritage Group who are the organisers for this event . 

However, Charlie Fox will still be open and work will be being carried out. You are, as always, very welcome to visit us and see our progress.

For up-to-date info about the fair,visit the Speke Aerodrome Heritage Group facebook page.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Saturday 11th April Volunteer Working Day

Today despite some nice sunshine in Liverpool, the wind was bitter and the temperature too low to do some paint stripping. So our volunteers continued with the sanding and varnishing of floor boards.

Two further undercarriage door were cleaned up of surface corrosion and back to pristine surface!

Plans for Charlie Fox in 2015

This year 2015 started well with further progress on the floor boards and on the paint-stripping, and the main undercarriage finally restored. Volunteers are also working on cleaning up the undercarriage doors from any surface corrosion and they are looking pristine!

Our key targets for 2015, before winter sets in, are:
  • The aircraft paint-stripped and re-painted in its 1964 British Eagle livery when the aircraft operated out of Liverpool Speke airport.
  • The aircraft lifted up onto trestles and its main undercarriage, which has just been refurbished, re-attached.
There are some sub-targets we must achieve before we can lift the aircraft:
  • Locating and securing two aircraft trestles and to be used when lifting and shoring the aircraft.
  • Transporting the refurbished undercarriage from Betley in Cheshire to Speke.
  • Securing urgent funding for a good quality compressor to use in riveting the centre fuselage. We cannot lift the aircraft until the riveting is completed.
  • Securing urgent funding or sponsorship for crane and/or airbags equipment and operators to actually carry out the lifting operation.
If you can help us with the above in any way, either through donating funds, materiel or services, volunteering or sponsoring us, or if you know of anyone with a skill set which matches the above requirement and who would like to help, please contact us by emailing

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Progress in 2014

In the past couple of years, progress has been slower than expected due mainly to funding issues and poor weather in Liverpool which would often hinder the outdoor work.

However, in 2014, work inside the cabin progressed well with a good section of the original floor boards sanded and varnished in deep mahogany and the floor board frames cleaned, including existing corrosion removed and then treated with etch primer. The tail plane was also cleaned up and painted with a primer and then top coat. It is sat peacefully near the aircraft waiting its turn to be re-attached. The cockpit restoration has progressed well with most of the instrumentation now in place.

Original floor boards sanded and varnished
Painted tailplane

Cockpit progress
Most importantly, the aircraft fuselage paint stripping is almost complete. This has been slow due to the weather. Regardless of how many volunteer days were organised during 2014, if the temperature was not high enough, or the weather turned bad, we could not get on with the work. Then winter arrived…