Featured Event


30 June 2022
10:00 am


The Fast Museum,

Fast Museum Farnborough

None known.

Cost (members): £22.50

Cost (non-members): £22.50

This full day visit promises to be one of our more unusual visits, contrasting a Museum dedicated to aviation history with a visit to an Abbey founded by a heartbroken Empress in memory of her husband and only child.
The Fast (Farnborough Air Sciences Trust) Museum has a wonderful collection of artifacts collected and collated by Aviation enthusiasts over the years and now on one site, for us to enjoy and marvel at! We will start our visit at 10.00 a.m. with coffee and a 20 minute PowerPoint introduction in the office used by Lord Trenchard when he was the Officer Commanding the Military Wing of the Royal Flying Corps in 1914. The Museum building is Grade 11* listed, due to its origins as an aviation balloon store in 1905 on the edge of Laffins Plain, which became Farnborough Airfield. The first powered flight took place here in 1908 and with Lord Trenchard becoming the Chief of the Air Staff and credited with preserving the independence of the RAF in 1919, Farnborough became part of the Royal Aircraft Establishment until 2003 when the MOD closed it down, moving the operations to other places. It was the forethought of the employees that preserved so much of the history of the early RAF, that we will then be taken on a tour to see. The artifacts include aircraft, flight simulators, documents, records, photographs, rockets and everything one can imagine connected to the Air Force! Farnborough Airport is now the top private airfield in Europe – and very busy.

Following a sandwich buffet lunch included in the price with tea and coffee, we will leave at 1.45 p.m. to arrive at St Michael’s Abbey for 2.00 p.m. It is a short 2-mile journey to the Abbey, which is a gated community and down a long made up driveway. Here we will be met by Dom Cuthbert Brogan, the Abbot, by whose kind permission we are invited, or one of the Benedictine Brothers who will give us a guided tour of the Abbey Church. Built in the Gothic style by the French architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur, who was commissioned by the Empress Eugenie to design an Abbey Church to be both a place of peace and contemplation and in the crypt below, a mausoleum for her husband and son – it is a stunningly beautiful place, and also one of the most emotive. All three – Napoleon 111, Empress Eugenie and their son Louis-Napoleon rest in granite sarcophagi provided by Queen Victoria from Scotland.

The Fast Museum is at postcode GU14 6TF and there is plenty of parking available on the road to the side of the building. Guests should be aware that there are steps and narrow walkways around the building and grounds. If the weather is fine there are picnic tables for lunch and also an indoor space if the weather is not kind.
St Michaels Abbey is at postcode GU14 7NA and entrance is through an automatic gate which one of the Events team will ensure that all guests pass through. The driveway to the Abbey is tarmacked and again there is plenty of parking. The Abbey is up a slight hill from the car park and there are steps down into the Mausoleum.
There are trains from Winchester to Farnborough, if any guest will require transport from the station, please contact the Events team.

The cost of this day will be £22.50 per person including coffee and biscuits, a buffet sandwich lunch and donations to both FAST and St Michael’s Abbey.

How to book

Bookings can be made by e-mail to events@hampshirearchivestrust.co.uk or by post to:

HAT Events, c/o 236 Hunts Pond Road, Fareham, PO14 4PG.  Tel: 01489 573056 – stating your method of payment: BACS – sort code 30-99-71, HAT account 00361865, giving your name and the name of the visit as reference, OR by cheque payable to Hampshire Archives Trust to the above address.

The closing date for bookings is 10th June 2022

Who we are

Charity Registration number 294312

Hampshire Archives Trust
c/o Hampshire Records Office
Sussex Street
S023 8TH

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