Shuttleworth Wings & Wheels - Summer picnic goes sky high
It was perfect flying weather at the Shuttleworth Wings & Wheels Airshow at Old Warden on Sunday 27 July and a perfect event for the Giulietta Register Summer picnic. Around thirty Register members, families, and friends marvelled at the languid flying displays of vintage planes and gliders from the Edwardian era up to WW II and wandered round the open hangars of the museum.
Sixteen Giuliettas were lined up for inspection and a little recreational fettling around a delicious and free lunch individually boxed and universally enjoyed. Register members and other visitors were pleased that Paul Gregory decided to bring his newly-completed and gorgeous 1933 8C 2300 for close examination and much admiration.
Joseph Shuttleworth, a wealthy industrialist, bought the estate of thousands of acres of Bedfordshire farmland, a mansion,and the village of Old Warden from the heirless and impecunious Lord Robert Ongley in the late 19th century. Included was a fabulously eccentric and folly-filled “Swiss Garden” created by Lord Ongley. The gardens were later totally neglected but largely intact, until finally being painstakingly restored in the last few years and re-opened to the public only the day after the Register Summer picnic.
The world famous aviation museum is part of a trust created by Dorothy Shuttleworth in memory of her son Richard, a farmer, racing driver and aviator who died in a second world war air accident in 1940. The collection includes many unique examples of airworthy vintage planes as well as aero engines and a small number of very early motor cars, motor bikes and cycles.
The Shuttleworth Collection is a delightful journey from flimsy contraptions of wood, wire, treated paper, and tiny lumps of oily cast iron, through to the sleek designs and sophisticated engines and propellers of commercial and fighting aircraft of WW II. Some are static displays but most are regularly flown by very brave enthusiasts to the delight of the public who come to this charming and curiously tranquil place.
Another great Register get together, and well worth another visit. Thanks go to Tony and Jane Ives for organising the event and to Jackie Wigley for the lunch arrangements.