I have been a volunteer at Brooklands Museum for eight years after retiring from BAe Systems as an Electrical Systems Engineer on various civil and military aircraft. I spent months deciding what to do, too long in fact, finally I went to see what was there. With a background in aviation and a keen interest in motor racing I felt an immediate connection.
I started off as a steward on the aircraft and in the motoring village meeting other likeminded people from various backgrounds once or twice a week. I soon concentrated on the aircraft side either in the aircraft park or in the hangar. With my background I was able to converse with visitors immediately.
I became interested in doing guided tour for adults or school children. After a few weeks of shadowing other people I was allowed to do my under supervision. I also learnt to do educational workshops for the schools, which are great fun.
Being into DIY and previously car maintenance I wanted to get my hands dirty. The museum is full of men and women volunteers on various projects: motoring, aircraft, gardening, archives etc. I enquired and I joined the BAC1-11 aircraft team which is a 89 seat airliner and I am now the project leaders with a team of 5 volunteers. We look after aircraft as a museum piece, cleaning, painting, repairing and updating as necessary in all weathers.
You don’t need to know about aircraft it’s all about fixing the best way. We meet every Thursday, start off with a coffee with my team and the stewards in the airpark and on Tuesdays I do the school tours help out on other thing in the afternoon. Yes it fills your time up but I find it very rewarding.