St George, London's leading mixed-use developer and the Royal Air Force Museum, held a ground breaking ceremony on Monday 7 December to celebrate the beginning of the relocation and refurbishment of the historic Grahame-White Watchtower building from Beaufort Park to the Museum's site.
Ross Faragher, Managing Director of award winning developers St George Central London commented: "Today we celebrate the first steps to relocate and refurbish the redundant Grahame-White Watchtower. This historic building is to be rejoined to the Grahame-White factory at The Royal Air Force Museum and is set to become an important learning resource reflecting the achievements of this early aviation pioneer and the history of the local area, for the benefit of the nation.
"Air Chief Marshal Sir John Day KCB OBE, Royal Air Force Museum Chairman of Trustees, commented "The relocation of The Watchtower within the main Museum site will provide an excellent addition to the visitor experience and will act as a wonderful reminder of the aviation history of the local area.
"Dr Fopp, Director General, Royal Air Force Museum commented: "Claude Grahame-White was one of the most important pioneers in British Aviation. The relocation of The Watchtower marks a continuing chapter of the Museum's efforts to preserve the historic fabric of this cradle of aviation. It will provide a fitting tribute to him and the history of aviation in the local area."
The redundant Watchtower building, built in 1911, was once the centre piece of the aviation pioneer Claude Grahame-White's aircraft factory in Hendon and was home to the birth of British aviation. Flying from Hendon ceased in the late 1960's and since then, the Watchtower has fallen into disrepair and is to be renovated and relocated to the adjacent museum by St George.