President – Admiral of the Fleet Sir Benjamin Bathurst, GCB, DL
Joined the Royal Navy in 1953. After general naval training he specialised in aviation and qualified as a pilot in 1960. He served in a variety of naval helicopter squadrons, becoming an Instructor in 1964. He then went on to command two frigates as well as serving in the Ministry of Defence in a range of staff appointments. In 1982 he was Director of Naval Air Warfare, responsible for advice on all aspects of naval aviation during the Falklands War. He then served in a succession of Flag appointments including Commander-in-Chief Fleet and Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. In 1993 he became First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff. He was promoted Admiral of the Fleet on retirement in 1995.
Patron – Sir Edward Humphry Wakefield, Bart, M.A. (Cantab), F.R.G.S.
Great nephew of Captain Edward Wakefield, with childhood spent in the Old House, Kendal.
Owner of Chillingham Castle, Northumberland, well known for its gardens, collections and wild cattle. Long-time Chairman – now Patron – of the International Wilderness Foundation; President of Northumberland Mountain Rescue Services and of the Avison Ensemble etc. Patron of the International Search Research Institute (study of the behavioural patterns of lost people) etc. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (London) and of the Morgan Library (New York), an elected Honorary Life Member of the Harlequins Rugby Union Club and of the Scott Polar Research Institute (Cambridge). Formerly MD of Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd (London) and Executive Vice-President of Mallett, America. Formerly Director of the Spoleto Musical Festival of Two Worlds (Italy).
Chairman – Richard Raynsford
Co-founder of the Waterbird Project.
Great, great nephew of Capt. Wakefield.
Commissioned into the Life Guards, before being called to the Bar. Worked for Lloyds of London as a loss adjuster specialising in Kidnap & Ransom. Currently, Director of Lake District Holdings Ltd.
Retired Cumbrian businessman. Specialist in the region’s aviation history. Author of In the Shadow of the Eagle’s Wing – an aeronautical history of Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway 1825 to 1939 (3 volumes – writing a 4th).
M. A. (Oxon) in modern history and Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Bristol). Former Deputy Headteacher.
Solicitor, specialising in Aviation Law for which he is recommended in the Legal 500. He is a Director of JWK Solicitors, Lancaster. Holds a Commercial Pilot’s License.
Chartered Engineer and semi-retired Management Consultant. Entered the Royal Navy in 1963 and subsequently specialised as an Air Engineer Officer. Served in HMS ARK ROYAL, HMS HERMES and HMS INVINCIBLE and various Sea King helicopter squadrons. After a variety of appointments including with the MoD, retired from the Royal Navy and joined British Aerospace in 1988. Retired from BAe Systems in 2005, having worked as senior Project Systems Engineer on the HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH class aircraft carrier project. Subsequently has been a Management Consultant advising on Business and Project Management, Health and Safety. Business Mentor for the Prince’s Trust and member of the Fly Navy Heritage Trust.
Served for twenty-six years in the Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserve, initially training as a pilot but subsequently specialising in Fisheries Protection and Mine Countermeasures, when he commanded Fleet Minesweepers. Lives in Windermere, where he is a Town Councillor, Secretary of the local Civic Society and a part-time walking-guide. He has a keen interest in the Lake District’s rich industrial history and in Windermere’s aviation heritage.
Mike Nixon, OBE, FRAeS
Joined the Royal Navy in 1971 as a Seaman Officer, later specialising as an anti-submarine warfare helicopter pilot. Commanded at sea and ashore, including taking charge of an eight-nation effort to clear the North Arabian Gulf of mines following the first Gulf War in 1991, for which he was awarded the OBE. Served with the US Navy for two very happy years and had a woefully short appointment in the stunning city of Naples on a NATO assignment. Also served his time in the Ministry of Defence. Tempted out of the Navy by Rolls-Royce in 2002, spent the next eight years as Senior Vice President and Military Advisor UK, responsible for holding the Customer account for the UK Ministry of Defence for aero engines sales and support. Chief Executive of the Fly Navy Heritage Trust from 2011 to 2015. A Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, an Upper Freeman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, and a Founding Trustee of fly2help.org.
Entered the RAF in 1962, which included 27 Squadron on the Avro Vulcan B.2 armed with Blue Steel. Next was Dan Air, flying Comets and 727s, followed by World Airways (California). Then tasked to create an international airline out of Yemenia. Became a member of the team established by King Hussein, re-organising Alia, the Royal Jordanian Airline, and heading up the 727 fleet. Detached to the USA/ Saudi Arabia to take delivery of a 727 for a Saudi Prince, carried out the acceptance in California, administrative and flight tests, trained up the crew and delivered the aircraft to Riyadh, setting up crew training and maintenance contracts with Alia. Then the Royal Flight in Dubai, on the 727. Within a year, Sheik Mohammed Al Maktoum purchased a 747 and sent to New York for conversion, leading to royal flight operations. Having returned to the UK, joined Virgin Atlantic. Accumulated 17,500 flying hours, including a seaplane rating. Has owned, amongst others, a couple of Auster aircraft, built and flew a Glastar for many years, and is now restoring an Avro 504 which was on floats. A member of the Light Aircraft Association, Vintage Aircraft Club, Classic Aircraft Association and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Windermere: birthplace of British naval and civil marine aeroplanes