Museum will protect icon of aviation for future
A 1950’s aircraft which guarded the entrance to an Anglesey RAF base for two decades, is now settled into its new home.
The 1955 Hunter T8 WV396 has greeted visitors to RAF Valley since 1997, but station bosses started looking for a new home after deciding it was time to replace it with a more modern Hawk T1.
Earlier this month, the 14,000lbs craft was transported by road to Tacla Taid transport museum, at Newborough, whose owners aim to restore the aircraft to her former glory.
Chris Davies, a former aircraft mechanic who worked at RAF Valley, said: “Bringing the Hawker here is something we’ve been looking to do for four or five years, but to get her here is brilliant.
“As we are a transport museum, RAF Valley is obviously a huge part of the island’s transport history, so we’re delighted to reflect that.”
Chris, the son-in-law of Tacla Taid’s owner, Arfon Williams, hopes to make the most of his previous experience as an aircraft mechanic at the station.
“The plan is to repaint her so that she looks more like she would have back in her prime,” he added.
“I also want to restore the cockpit area, replacing the buttons and knobs where possible.
“Thankfully, she’s in a remarkably good condition for an aircraft built so long ago and being open to the elements for all these years.
“The fusilage is all pretty much in tact, which helps us a lot of course.”
The aircraft itself was carried by lorry, with the wings transported sep- erately on another low loader.
He added: “I’d like to thank Phoenix Metals and MY Scaffolding for all their help in getting her over, as well as the RAF, of course.
“We hope to give the Hawker a good home as well as giving many thousands more people the chance to see her up close and personal.”
In a post on Facebook, RAF Valley said a Hawk T1 guarding the station’s gates will “better reflect its’ Hawk heritage”.
“A historic moment for the station, and a new chapter for our friends at the Anglesey Transport Museum, Tacla Taid.
“It’s great that the Hunter is being preserved and, better still, will remain on the island.”
Chris Davies of Tacla Taid Transport Museum at Newborough, below, with the 1955 Hawker Hunter gate guardian, recently moved from RAF Valley