UWL opens Heathrow archive exhibition

An exhibition – “Heathrow: The Journey” – focussing on the history of the UK’s busiest airport, has opened at the University of West London’s campus in St Mary’s Road, Ealing.

This first-ever exhibition features a wealth of never-before-seen items, specially selected from the airport’s archive and elsewhere, which have been permanently donated for the public to view.

Artefacts dating back to the 1940s tell the story of Heathrow airport via an exciting mix of media including motion-detection audio, memorable photos of Beatle-mania, Princess Diana and other famous passengers, including movie star and glamour queen Sophia Loren. Enticing travel brochures from the golden age of air travel, a selection of airline pennants and post-cards, historic images and videos of the first supersonic Concorde aircraft, maps and technical drawings all feature.

“Heathrow: The Journey” has been made possible by donations from Heathrow Airport of £100,000 and £79,400 raised by National Lottery players via the Heritage Lottery Fund. These donations enable the archive to be preserved for generations to come at UWL, as well as funding this exhibition which charts an important part of Great Britain’s aviation history.

Commenting on the new exhibition, Professor Peter John of UWL said: ‘People can discover and appreciate an extremely rich heritage at Heathrow, and we are delighted to host this exhibition which charts its development into one of the world’s leading airports.

“Heathrow is located inside the University’s catchment area and we enjoy a close business partnership which delivers excellent opportunities for our students – the next generation of talent. Thanks to this relationship, many of our graduates go on to enjoy successful careers connected to Heathrow Airport and we look forward to this continuing long into the future.”

Heathrow’s Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow has witnessed major historical events, and hosted many remarkable people throughout its long history. We are proud to be Britain’s front door and hope the students, aviation enthusiasts and local people that see this exhibition can feel the same. We were especially pleased to partner with the University of West London to ensure this exhibition resides permanently on their campus, so that generations to come can be inspired to seek a career at Heathrow and form part of our history.”

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