Avro 19 Anson 2

Anson G-AGPG

G-AGPG – c/n 1212

With the H.A.M from May 1972 to May 1983*

Somewhat endearingly referred to as ‘Aggy Paggy’ by those who regularly flew in her while she was with A.V. Roe and Skyways, she was subsequently purchased by EKCO Electronics as a replacement for Anson G-ALIH and as such, the rather bulbous extremity which had been fitted to her nose by Aviation Traders (to accommodate their E320 weather radar equipment for Concorde) was removed from India Hotel and fitted to Aggy. By 1971, she had become one of three Ansons to end up in the hands of the H.A.M. although this aircraft would be the only one of the three to actually go on display there, the airframe subsequently being moved to the compound in April 1972. The histories of the other two airframes while at Southend are described below:

G-AVHU – This Anson’s purchase was financed by Tony Osborne’s wife Leslie Anne and much like the rest of the collection, having arrived at SEN she was placed out on the eastern perimeter where sadly the airframe deteriorated further. While this aircraft would later be moved to the Aviation Way compound some of the fabric was now missing from the rear fuselage and it also appears that the tail plane was not fitted either. Sufficed to say, being in such a state of disrepair she was considered unsuitable for the H.A.M. and was later handed over to SEN’s fire service for training purposes.

G-AVVO – This aircraft flew into Southend during 1968 and was then left to languish. The exact reason for her abandonment remains unknown to this day. At the time, the aircraft was owned by Tipper Air Transport who had some form of association with Tony Osborne with regards to providing him with Ansons for use in Biafra while it also appears that it was Tony who flew the aircraft into SEN in the first place too. Needless to say, the aircraft was eventually impounded by the airport due to non-payment of parking fees. She was then somewhat ironically given to the museum and by 1971 had become a source of spares. However, in the same year Newark’s Anson was damaged by fire and as a result,  G-AVVO was passed on to the museum where her fuselage was mated to the undamaged wings of former SEN resident G-ALIH. She remains at Newark to this very day.

Swiftly returning to G-AGPG… On being sold to the H.A.M. for the sum of £300, the aircraft was found to be in excellent condition with talks during the early days of the museum revolving around keeping her airworthy and flying her at airshows alongside Dragon G-ACIT. Yet despite this never happening, it was still hoped that a place at the H.A.M. would more or less ensure her well deserved long-term preservation, especially being that she was the only aircraft with any real connection to the airport (with the exception of the former Channel Viscount G-AHVE, the nose of which had been preserved here too). Another historical note of interest which should have gone some way towards safeguarding her was the fact that she was the very first civil production Anson to be built by Avro. However, fate would determine otherwise and after being displayed inside the hall for a short period, she was pushed outside and left exposed to the elements for nigh on 12 years.

G-AGPG Anson

When the museum finally closed its doors in 1983, this aircraft was a pale shadow of her former self, even if fundamentally, she was still relatively sound. Then, two months later came the museum auction during which time she was sold for £2,800 to Phillippe Denis, a Frenchman who had intended to return her to his country and restore her to her former glory. However, after the museum’s closure, the compound itself remained mostly unguarded and for some unfathomable reason, local hooligans entered the compound and slashed the fabric on her underside. With the cover now compromised, it wasn’t long before gale-force winds found their way into the aircraft and tore a good deal of it from the frame which in turn now left much of her interior open to inclement weather. Sufficed to say, due to the damage the planned move to France was abandoned when the deal fell through.

For the time being, Aggy sat at the former H.A.M. site both forlorn and unloved before finally being removed by the British Air Reserve in April 1984 who within a couple of years passed her on to Brenzett Aeronautical Museum where she was stored and protected from the worst of the weather in a dismantled condition for a decade. However, an in-depth assessment of her condition carried out by BAe engineers in 1996 revealed that she was beyond the scope of a complete restoration unless someone with exceedingly deep pockets was willing to step forward and finance her salvation and as such, she moved through the hands of several aviation societies (inc. The Aviation Collection & Hooton Park) before ending up with Richard Park in 2011 who finally took the decision to break her for parts for other Anson projects in 2013. Happily though, the forward fuselage was saved and ended up in the hands of Mike Davey who beautifully restored it and placed it upon a purpose built trailer which then appeared at several aircraft shows and aviation events around the country. However, as of 2017 it has become an exhibit at the Avro Heritage Museum.

With thanks to Tony Avis for providing a good deal of extra information for this page.

G-AGPG 2

G-AGPG 1

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