The newly-opened museum and home of the last Concorde ever to fly is called Aerospace Bristol. We went there recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you are looking for things to do in Bristol, I can highly recommend it. It is a great afternoon out with family and friends.
Concorde - the aeroplane
Getting up close and personal with Concorde was a wonderful and memorable experience. We arrived, paid for our ‘boarding passes’ and were free then to wander around. We looked at the outside of the aeroplane before climbing the steps to board it. There were films being projected onto the outside of the fuselage. We sat and listened to voices of passengers describing their experiences of flying in it.
We learnt that Concorde was first thought about in the 50's, designed in the 60’s and most were built in the 70's. Although the maiden flight was 9th April 1969. The 'plane here at Aerospace Bristol was the last one ever flown into Bristol where it was built. The friend with us said she remembered standing on the downs. Everyone was really emotional when the pilot dipped his wings to the crowds. That was on 26th November 2003.
Once inside, we were amazed at how tiny the cabin was. Although there seemed to be plenty of leg room! Being inside conjured up the glamor and excitement of international travel.
Concorde - the exhibition
The curators have done a great job with the exhibition about Concorde with displays of everything to do with the aeroplane. One little boy was particularly excited and kept calling “Daddy, come and look at this!”
In one corner of the gallery there is a mock up of being inside the cockpit of Concorde whilst in flight. The noise of the engines and the view from the flight deck make it incredibly atmospheric. Being in the museum I felt like I was now part of Concorde’s history.
Concorde certainly captures the imagination. In its day there was even Concorde wallpaper for little boys and girls' bedrooms!
And there's more
Having spent ages in the Concorde hanger, we had a quick cup of tea and a flapjack before heading into the other museum. This is full of all kinds of equipment, machinery and transportation with connections to Aerospace Bristol.
We got chatting to an engineer who had worked on nuclear missiles and warheads who was fascinating. It did mean though we only saw a small part of the exhibition.
It didn’t matter however, as the boarding pass / entry ticket is valid for 12 months. We plan to go back multiple times this year!
If you are looking for something different to do and your children or you like aeroplanes, this is the place for a fascinating few hours. You could easily combine it with the Bristol Clifton Treasure Trail too, the start of which is only 20 minutes away by car.
Amanda Ingham 15th January 2018