The Airport Terminal, then and now.


If you are reading this, the chances are that you will be interested in the progress of the restoration of HS.748, G-BEJD (or just JD for short) and may even be considering donating to this worthy cause (again?).

However, as before, we would like you to read through the following so that you have a clear understanding of what will happen to your money and what it is likely to achieve.

Thank You.

The Speke Aerodrome Heritage Group (SAHG) originally started life as 'The Jetstream Club' which was formed to manage the Jetstream 41 (G-JMAC) kindly donated by BAe Systems at Woodford. With the Jetstream cockpit converted to a flight simulator and the Club properly registered as a charity (#1106923) the years since then have seen countless people from all walks of life enjoy exploring the aircraft and flying the simulator. School groups, Air Cadets, Boy Scouts and many other groups have all benefited.

For several years now, the Club has held an annual 'Aviation Fair' to raise awareness, inspire youngsters and generate the funding necessary to cover it's running costs. Each year, in recognition of the tremendous local support given to SAHG, typically half of the monies raised from the event have been given away to other deserving causes such as Marie Curie, the RSPCA, Fire Support Network and more.

In January of 2010 at the Club's AGM it was agreed that a name change was in order to better reflect our activities. In addition to the Jetstream we also have Grumman AA1 G-SEXY and our beloved Percival Prince G-AMLZ. We are also blessed to be situated on the Apron of the outstanding old Speke Aerodrome which is not only beautifully restored but has a true heritage all of it's own. I believe flying at Speke can be dated back to 1913 and Speke played a seldom reported yet significant role during WWII.

The four-star Crowne Plaza Hotel, which now occupies the old terminal building, is very supportive of SAHG and we owe their management and staff a debt of gratitude. One small way we were able to repay a little of this debt was to maintain the full-size Dragon Rapide replica once positioned at the front of the hotel.

However - and sadly - this has been removed and now, unfortunately, sits forlorn and decaying at the rear of the hotel. Whilst SAHG are not able to rebuild the replica, it is hoped that one day, if it is resurrected to its rightful place, we can do our best to make sure that it becomes a long- standing, if not permanent, local icon.

SAHG is a small and friendly group with limited funds and limited equipment. The one thing we are not short of is enthusiasm and despite the often difficult conditions - we get the job done. SAHG is also a very stable group. The old apron where we are based is under a conservation order which states that it may only be used for the purposes for which it was constructed - this suits us just fine and means that SAHG should be able to continue for many years to come.


JD was well overdue for scrapping until the Lakes Lightnings team stepped in and persuaded the Authorities at Blackpool to allow them some time to find her a new home. With the RAF Millom bid dead in the water the future of the aircraft looked pretty bleak, though one of our members who had been involved with the Millom bid had kept an eye on the aircraft and had also managed to salvage the parts which had been removed.

A plan was formulated for the JD's rescue and submitted to the airport manager. This was accepted though a stipulation was made that the aircraft must be removed as soon as possible. It remained to find the monies required to fund the move, though with the experience base within the group enabled to do-it-yourself approach to keep costs to an absolute minimum.

A plea for funding on the Key Publishing Forum proved incredibly effective and enough donations, and more, were received to enable the rescue operation to go ahead. It took seven days to dismantle and transport JD to her new home at the old Liverpool (Speke) Airport terminal and into the hands of the Speke Aerodrome Heritage Group.

The thrust of the rescue effort was a three-stage affair;

Firstly, it was stated that sufficient funds would be required for dismantling and transport. This proved very successful as the full amount (estimated at £2500) was raised within two and a half days via the Key Publishing Forum.

Secondly, a new home was required for the dismantled airframe to be taken. This turned out to be Liverpool, a location which was entirely relevant for so many reasons and one which pleased us most because it is where we (the SAHG) are based. The reason for the lack of certainty about a new home was that SAHG had not, at that time, broached the subject of bringing such a large airframe to the hotel and it was more important that JD was rescued than worrying overly about its final location. Happily, the hotel were entirely happy with it coming to Speke and the day that it will take pride of place outside the restaurant at the rear of the hotel is not too far away.

Thirdly, the plan stated that further funds would be required to enable materials to be purchased to enable JD to be put back together. A large quantity of rivets and high tensile screw fixings were made available, which saved a lot of money. However, several sheets of very expensive aluminium alloy sheet had to be purchased as well as a quantity of steel angle section to enable the stringer reconnection joints to be made.

This money, over and above the dismantling and removal costs, was from the surplus donated to the cause and from society funds. Additionally, in the last five years, abrasives, primer and paint have been purchased but society funds are now under strain. With our plans for the summer open day being stymied at a late stage this not only lost us precious money but, more importantly, it curtailed any hope of raising further vital funds to progress the restoration further.

To this end, we would like to invite interested groups and individuals to consider donating again to this worthy cause to ensure the funds are available for the home run of this project. The first main wing was mounted in position in recent weeks and it is hoped that, by next summer, both wings will be on. It will then only be a matter of weeks before the engines and propellers can be mounted and the final lift of the aircraft onto its undercarriage can take place and this will not be cheap.

As can be seen in the pictures, JD is returning to her early Dan-Air scheme. It is not only correct for the aircraft but it has a big association with the NW of England - as well as looking extremely attractive.

JD is owned fully by the Speke Aerodrome Heritage Group.

Any money donated will be held in the society's account until it is required. I am sure you will agree that the funds have been very well managed by Rob Taylor, our meticulous treasurer, and the current status of the aircraft is testament to careful management of not only the funds but the other resources we have. It can truly be said that, by the standards of aircraft recovery and restoration the rescue and rebuild of JD has been carried out on a shoe-string budget.

SAHG has always been open and honest, it really IS the best policy! Our accounts have always been promptly and properly lodged with the Charities Commission (see their website) and we are very lucky to have the best Treasurer North of Ushuaia who ensures that we operate properly, sensibly and efficiently.

As ever, if you have any concerns, ideas or problems about the project - or just wish to check on progress, please feel free to contact our Chairman, Guy Gainey via chairman@spekeaero.org

You may also like to consider becoming a member of SAHG. Membership costs a miserly £10 per year though we do not currently produce a newsletter. However, information and updates can be found via the internet. Please direct your membership request to either myself or Rob Taylor (treasurer@spekeaero.org)

Mike Davey

If you wish to remain anonymous, PLEASE SAY SO WHEN USING THE PAYPAL FORM !!


If you cannot use Paypal and would prefer a good old fashioned cheque, please make it payable to "The Speke Aerodrome Heritage Group" and send to our Treasurer:

Rob Taylor
69 Knaresborough Road
CH44 2BQ

October 11th, 2016