I WAS impressed by Coun James Alexander’s powers of recall (Letters, January 13).
Thanks for reminding me that years ago I approached the York Civic Trust to suggest that a commemorative plaque marking the Airspeed connection might be affixed to whatever replaced Reynard’s Garage, at the time under sentence of demolition.
This exchange occurred long before Coun Alexander’s arrival on the York scene, yet he has dusted down this forgotten nugget.
It seemed a good idea then.
However, in light of recent developments, a better idea is the proposal of the director of the Yorkshire Air Museum for part of the building on this historic site to reflect the link with York’s industrial past in the form or a permanent exhibition, a 1930s time capsule on the Airspeed theme and more.
The spotlight could be shone on some of the celebrities associated with the company. Much could be made of Nevil Shute, acclaimed novelist and aero engineer; Sir Alan Cobham, a figure of great importance in British aviation and the pre-eminent fosterer of “air mindedness” in the pre-war generation of boys who became “the Few”; and the wonderful Amy Johnson, who needs no introduction.
The fact that aeroplanes were designed and manufactured within the bounds of the Bar Walls is amazing.
Coun Alexander’s participation in this discussion affords an opportunity to appeal to him and his colleagues to think again and not miss this opportunity.
Derek Reed, Middlethorpe Drive, York.
• I WOULD like to add to the correspondence regarding the old Piccadilly site of Reynard’s.
The idea of an extended air museum would surely be more acceptable than another hotel or even more student accommodation.
Such a development would add to the antiquity of our beautiful historic city, which seems to be rapidly diminishing into a mishmash of characterless so-called architecture.
What better year too. The year in which we commemorate 100 years of those who fought and died for their country in two world wars.
Our grandpa, John, was born around the corner from the site in Walmgate and served in the 1914-18 war with his nine brothers. Our mum too, also born in Walmgate, worked at Handley Page in the Second World War on the Halifax bombers which came back from air raids often very bloodied.
The location is perfect for a museum, especially with the past connections – handy, too, for tourists already in the city centre.
We have already been given the privilege of sharing the many wartime stories in The Press and it would be a further representation of “those magnificent men and their flying machines”.
Barbara Woodley, Danesmead, York.
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