A leading Angus tourist attraction has passed the halfway point of a lifeline coronavirus crowdfunder.
Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre launched the £5,000 campaign to help it combat the “unprecedented threat” of having to close its doors due to Covid-19.
Volunteers are now planning the roadmap for re-opening the Broomfield centre which sits on the site of Britain’s first operational air station, opened in February 1913 – but have also been doing some lockdown homework on one of the museum’s rarities.
“The consequences of having to lock our gates to visitors is having a considerable financial impact on our heritage site,” said a group spokesperson.
“Our history proves, when threatened, we as friends and family pull together. To help, we are asking for donations to allow us to preserve and maintain the museum and heritage site until we have successfully beaten this new threat.”
MAHSC volunteers have not been idle during the coronavirus crisis, with one enthusiast spending hours on the restoration of part of one of the centre’s historic aircraft.
Sam Brown has been repairing two of the windscreens from the museum’s Miles Hawk aircraft in his own garage.
He has manufactured new parts to replace those that were missing and resprayed the screens ready for installation at the centre when it re-opens.
The museum’s Miles M.2H Hawk Major is one of only two examples of the type in Britain.
The two-seat Hawk was the forerunner of the Miles Magister trainer aircraft, numbers of which operated at Montrose during the Second World War where flyers from the UK and abroad were tutored.
It arrived in Montrose following a successful bid by the heritage centre after the RAF Museum in London declared it surplus to requirements in 2017.
The plane has reinforced the centre’s links to the aircraft, which includes the career of Squadron Leader George Keith from Arbroath who trained on Miles Hawks and went on to fly over 130 missions with Bomber Command.
The Montrose collection includes his gallantry medals, including a Distinguished Flying Cross and Distinguished Flying Medal.