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.
WHO WE ARE
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.
THE PLANS FOR G-BEJD
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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
Please direct your membership request to either myself or Rob Taylor (email@example.com)
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:
69 Knaresborough Road
October 11th, 2016