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 by Aviation Traders to accommodate radar equipment in the nose 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 museum, although this aircraft would be the only one of the three to be displayed there. The other two airframes’ existence 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, this particular 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 would also seem that the tail plane had not been 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 no parking fees having been paid. She was then somewhat ironically given to the museum and by 1971 was being used as 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 has remained at Newark to this very day.

Swiftly returning to G-AGPG… On being passed to the H.A.M. the aircraft was still in excellent condition with talks during the earlier 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 longevity was the fact that she was the very first civilian Anson to be built by Avro. However, fate would determine otherwise and she was simply left exposed to the elements for more than 10 years.

G-AGPG Anson

Sadly, one further ignominy would befall Aggy. During the final years of the museum the compound itself remained mostly unguarded and for some unfathomable reason, the fabric on her underside eventually got slashed. With this 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 airframe which in turn now left much of her interior open to inclement weather. Indeed, when the museum finally closed its doors in 1983, this aircraft had become 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 to Phillippe Denis, a Frenchman who had intended to return her to his country and restore this Anson to her former glory but unfortunately, the deal eventually fell through.

From this point on Aggy would sit at the former H.A.M. site both forlorn and unloved for almost another year before finally being removed by the British Air Reserve who quickly passed her on to Brenzett Aircraft Museum where she was stored and protected from the worst of the weather in a dismantled condition for more than a decade. However, an in-depth assessment of her condition carried out in 1996 revealed that she was beyond the scope of a complete restoration unless someone with exceedingly deep pockets was willing to step forward to finance her salvation and as such, she moved through the hands of several aviation societies before ending up with Richard Park who finally took the decision to break her for parts for other Anson projects. The forward fuselage however, ended up in the hands of Mike Davey who has beautifully restored it and placed it upon a purpose built trailer that he often takes to aircraft shows and aviation events around the country.

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



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