The plane which will help Alveston children fly high

October 27 2020
The plane which will help Alveston children fly high

It's in a sorry state now but this old Bristol-built plane fuselage could soon be transformed to help children at a village school.

St Helen’s Primary School is planning to save the front section of the BAe 146 from the scrapheap – and turn it into a reading area for pupils and the wider community. 

The school hopes the project will create a physical symbol of its vision statement for its pupils, which is 'Flying High’.

Each class is named after famous planes which were built at Filton and there is a strong link with aviation in the village, as the aerospace designer Captain Frank Barnwell lived at what later became the Alveston House Hotel and is buried in the graveyard of St Helen’s church.

Executive head teacher Andy Spens said: “We’re excited about the potential of this project, both in terms of being a symbol of our ‘Flying High’ ethos, but also as a fantastic reading resource for our community.

"The first step for us is to gain planning permission and then it will be to fundraise the remaining total we need, which is around £10,000.”

The BAe 146 airliner was built in Filton in the early 1980’s and is currently in salvage at Cotswold Airport in Kemble, Gloucestershire.

It will need to be fitted out as a library and transported to the primary school, which has been given a grant of £11,500 for the project by South Gloucestershire Council.

The refurbishment will be carried out by apprentices at GKN Aerospace, who will also repair the bodywork and paint the words ‘Flying High’ on the outside.

They are donating their time and their skills at no charge to the school.

Additional fundraising will pay for the electricity supply, furniture and books.

The idea is that in future, staff and pupils will use the library during the day, and families will be able to take books out after school hours, making it a community facility.

An architect has drawn a site plan, which shows the section of plane sited near the KS2 building and close to Greenhill Road.

A planning application has now been submitted and can be seen on the South Gloucestershire Council website by searching for application P20/19137/F.