At the recent The Peoples Mosquito Club Members Day, our Chairman & Managing Director, John Lilley spoke to those present and gave his update on the project to date.
The report highlighted some recent achievements for the project, including the completion of the construction of the wings ribs.
One very notable recent achievement was the donation of more than 22,000 aperture cards containing technical drawings for the DH98. These include some previously unseen modifications and unknown facts about the Wooden Wonder.
John finished off by outlining the proposed strategy for 2017/2018.
The Chairman’s Project Update 2017
We have now entered into the 2017 air show season with the need and strong desire as a team to take the project to the next level. Before I set out my thoughts in regards the next 12 months I must reflect on the achievements and challenges of the past year.
2016 and VTST
Our focus primarily for 2016/17 was to grow the project by taking on VTST as a supplier to use their expertise and great experience with raising public funds for an historic aircraft project. In addition to them also providing key sponsor contacts from their success. All was on track to develop this commercial partnership, with also a major aviation manufacturer expressing a desire to be associated with us in partnership with VTST. Many supporters and observers had a wrong impression that VTST were taking over our project; this is wrong and it always was a commercial partnership where ‘TPM’ would pay for services arising from successful fundraising campaigns. However, following the end of flying for XH558 and subsequently the next phase after retirement not going to plan all added up to both parties decided to withdraw from this commercial arrangement. As this was a major strategy to take the project to a significant jump in public profile, national and aviation press activity with sponsor support, the events I believe slowed down the project towards the end of 2016.
The TPM Club
However, the project did achieve a number of positive steps going forward in the last year. The revenue stream continued to grow in double digit figures primarily through the launch of ‘The People’s Mosquito Club’. To date, after nearly one year we have 500+ members and we have recently celebrated our first birthday of the Club by holding a ‘Member’s Day’ at East Kirby on May 20th this year. We also added more attendances to the air show scene and also to spread the word by presenting various talks and presentations to historic aviation groups. This side of ‘spreading the word’ is growing and with the return of your Chairman from living overseas, we will look to add to this.
May I take this opportunity to thank Steve Manning, Alan Pickford, Sandra Pickford, Bill Ramsey, Penny Broadway and Nick Horrox for tremendous hard work to achieve success for these aspects of our project. Not forgetting Ross Sharp’s amazing contribution for articles for the ‘Club Journal’ detailing fascinating facts on all things Mosquito!
The project also successfully completed £50,000 fundraising on our ‘Wing Ribs’ appeal; then had them manufactured by Aerowood in New Zealand and they are now in secure storage. Thank you to all who contributed to this fund and for providing proof that the project can raise funds to manufacture the Mosquito. However the board is mindful there is a long way to go, but dividing the total money required into appeals and fundraising campaigns is a good strategy, and it is our intention to launch our ‘Fuselage Fund’ in 2017.
In October the project received a huge donation, not in monetary terms, but in technical and historical terms by being given 22,000+ aperture cards containing D.H.98 technical drawings. No full set exists in the World to date and it is believed we may have been given the ‘missing’ drawings from the days when Mosquito T.III RR299 was in operation via BAE. The drawings were donated by Airbus Broughton, as the office they were located in was scheduled to be demolished to make way for new buildings. We have spent £4K having the cards digitised to preserve them and we are currently working our way through this maze of technical information. To date, thanks to a herculean effort by Ross Sharp, we have seen Circa 2000 drawings and discovered unknown facts and information on the Mosquito. The project now needs to have a strategy in how we turn this legacy into funds and also how it supports our re-build. The CAA has been informed and are delighted we have original drawings to support our rebuild.
The cost to digitise and catalogue the drawings was double, if not more the cost we paid. Therefore, the drawings require cataloguing and cross-referencing to turn them into a useful valuable resource. We are very keen to hear from anyone who wishes to volunteer to help us with this cataloguing process? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to 2017/18 the strategy needs to focus on building our PR and message to a wider audience. I am, however, pleased to say we have recruited new volunteers to take on roles in support of Directors; however, we need to recruit more this year to grow the project, particularly in the role of Press Officer as well as other areas. Again, if you would like to help out please contact us at email@example.com
Hopefully, we will get to meet many of you during the upcoming display season. Do drop in and say hello and meet the team.
Cahriman & Managing Director