AIM Pilgrim Trust – Historic Croydon Airport Trust

Historic Croydon Airport Trust – Collections care scheme
AIM grant: £4,523
Archive reorganisation project

The Historic Croydon Airport Trust (HCAT) has been established to conserve the history and heritage of London Croydon Airport, Britain’s first major international airport. Over the years, the trust has been donated a vast quantity of valuable photographs, documents and artefacts relating to the old airport. Some of this is on display in a micro-museum, which is open to the public once a month. The remainder is stored in an archive room which is maintained by a small group of volunteers. Much of the archive material is stored in a random selection of second-hand filing cabinets, bookcases and cupboards, which have been donated to the trust.

In 2019, an AIM Pilgrim Trust collections care audit identified a number of concerns which, included the fact that the storage facilities were unsuitable. It also noted that some “Crown Jewels items are priceless and irreplaceable” and these should be stored in a suitable fire-proof cabinet. These objects include some of the Amy Johnson and her family’s belongings, original caricatures of early Croydon pilots by Charles Dickson and the bulk of the Corsin (Chief Pilot Air Union) collection.

This AIM Pilgrim Trust collections care grant has enabled us to:

  1. Move the books from the variety of wooden bookcases on to conservation grade shelving. This had the advantage of freeing up some space in the archive so additional storage facilities can be fitted.
  2. Moving the archive material in the filing cabinets into suitable storage boxes and storing these in cupboards. This is a lengthy process as each item needs to be checked, put into conservation grade storage material, if necessary, and recorded properly in the catalogue with its new location.
  3. Moving some of the key “Crown Jewels” into a fireproof safe.

Susah Shaw, Trustee, Historic Croydon Airport Trust

Pictured: Storage at Historic Croydon Airport Trust before (left) and after (right)