#1371. Mea culpa…

By Paul Perton | Art & Creativity

Jul 10

Mea culpa. I’ve been living just around the corner quite a while now and only yesterday, summoned the enthusiasm to visit.


The Shuttleworth Collection – just a couple of miles away and much to my surprise, not a just a few clapped-out, dusty and unserviceable aircraft, but a full-on aero museum, filled with almost as many tasty aero treats as one could wish for.


Yes, they have a Spitfire and a much rarer Hurricane, but the main thrust of the museum seems to be the earlier days of aviation, from Blériot to the mid ‘30s and what treats they are. If hundred year old aviation interests you, get along and see the Avros, Pipers, Vickers, De Havillands, Sopwiths and Westlands. In amongst the aircraft is a comprehensive collection of cars and buses too.

There are biplanes and triplanes, one of the few remaining WW2 Lysanders, an Avro Anson, a DfW from WW1. Many are in flying condition. It’s an enthusiast’s treat.


Making a huge impression throughout was the extraordinary degree of craftsmanship on display. This was from an era when machine tools were primitive at best or hadn’t been invented at all and metal fitting and finishing was a job reliant entirely on manual skills and commitment. If you have any degree of insight, there’s lots to be appreciated and learned.

Well I’ve been now, willingly admit my error and will no doubt return before too long.

Be aware though, the aircraft are parked quite close together, so if you’re planning on shooting a full-on side view of the Hurricane, think again, or visit when it’s flying. I opted for a more abstract approach, trying to exclude as much background detail as possible.

For the interested, I used my Hasselblad X2D, with either a 120mm or 45mm lens. I Hope you enjoy the photographs as much as I did shooting them.


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  • Nice work done in tight quarters.

    The highlights of the Shuttleworth Collection for me are the two oldest flying aircraft in the world. One is a very early English aircraft, and the oldest of all is a gorgeous French Blériot. Absolutely wonderful devices, these two.

    • Paul Perton says:

      Christopher, the very first image on the page is Blériot’s monoplane. It’s magnificent and actually flies, which really is a monument to the entire Shuttleworth collection.

      There is a second shot, under the yellow air intake image.

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Not sure – should I enter you on the “shame file” for having failed to do this earlier? Or just simply thank you, for mending the error of your ways?
    My father ignited my passion for flying machines – I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before on DS – the oldest phot of him I ever saw, he was covered in the flying jacket of one of Australia’s aviation pioneers, Sir Ross & Sir Keith Smith, who were the first pilots to fly from England to Australia – in 1919 – in a Vickers Vimy. And lived opposite dad and his mother, after she was widowed. He was just a kid at the time, and the jacket went right down to his feet!
    Later, we spent many happy hours at the local “aerodrome”, starting at all sorts of “flying machines”. And its been a bit of a habit of mine, too.
    So thanks for unveiling them and sharing your photos of them. As I just told you on your previous post, there’s no way I can ever hope to get there now, so I have to rely on you and others who are a good deal closer!
    BTW – after my first trip to London (which I really only made to visit a friend who’d moved there), my oldest brother grilled me, about what I’d seen – and was shocked when I said I hadn’t bothered going to see Buckingham Palace. However, I DID go to the Science Museum at South Kensington. (And my friend took me to see the Bluebell Line!)

    • Paul Perton says:


      Best you saw the Science Museum then – today, it’s a dumbed-down, interactive parade of not very much. Certainly little to demand a young mind’s attention and build memories for later in life 🙁

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        WAOUH !! H’ain’t those dudes ever heered, if t’ain’t broke, don’ fix it? Back in the 70’s, that wuz one darn intrestin’ place!

  • Philberphoto says:

    Paul, you have my mind teetering between admiration and jealousy. Your shots are not only soooo good, they are also so totally my cup of tea. Pure visualgasm!!!! Kudos to the Nth degree! And I must go back to the museum at Le Bourget, to play Salieri to your Mozart.

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