Note: this page was written in 2011. For more up to date information on this building see all pages tagged ‘Airspeed’
Plans were produced for the conversion of this building to ‘Airspeed – A 1930s adventure’. The project couldn’t proceed as the council wouldn’t offer more than a 5 year lease. This would obviously be unworkable considering the investment that would be needed.
Images from the document are reproduced here with permission and are © Yorkshire Air Museum.
Have a look at the PDF even if you’re not interested in the idea of an ‘aircraft factory museum’. The proposed ‘Airspeed adventure’ is a stylish affair, with the Amy Johnson connection adding extra glamour. The plan conveys perfectly the excitement of the time, the rush to reach for the skies.
The proposed use of the building would do justice to a brief but fascinating period in our modern history.
York tends to turn its back on modern history and prefers to demolish it, to build cheap apartments and nondescript shopping centres in its place.
History didn’t stop in the 18th century, though it might appear so in this town, where any building from the 19th or 20th century left empty for a few years is automatically labelled an ‘eyesore’.
This project recognises and fully utilises an undervalued place. And it does it in a way that would appeal to a wide range of people – not just aviation enthusiasts.
But it seems that the big visions for the Piccadilly area – which seem to have grown too big and complex to ever turn into anything positive – block smaller developments in the area. Unless it’s a Tesco Express.
. . . . .
Update, 26 October 2013
The Press reported today: Airspeed 1930s Experience planned for Reynard’s Garage building in Piccadilly.
Whether this plan can come to fruition appears to depend on City of York Council accepting the offer. The building was put on the market earlier this year.
Recent pages on this site give more information on Nevil Shute’s time in York, and include extracts from his autobiography Slide Rule:
For the latest updates see all pages tagged ‘Airspeed’