British Aviation Pioneer Claude Grahame-White’s Office Room Now Open For Public Viewing

The replica office today. ( '©Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum’)
The replica office today. ( '©Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum’)
The replica office today. ( ‘©Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum’)

PRESS RELEASE – The Museum is delighted to announce that from today, Monday 27th April, Claude Grahame-White’s office on the first floor of the Grahame-White Watchtower will be open to the public as part of the general exhibition.Claude Grahame-White (1879-1959) was an aviation pioneer and the most famous aviator in Britain before the First World War. Among his many achievements: the first Briton to hold a pilot’s license (albeit a French one, not British); the first night flight (during his failed attempt to win the London-Manchester prize); the founding of Hendon aerodrome; and the first official airmail delivery (London to Windsor). Hendon was extremely popular with the public as the site of flying displays, and was also where Grahame-White set up his own aircraft design and manufacturing company.Quite remarkably Claude Grahame-White’s sumptuous first floor office has been faithfully recreated through careful analysis of a single black and white photograph dating from 1915 – the only known photograph to survive. The color scheme was noted from a painting.Great care and attention was taken to source materials from across the world and ensure that the details of the original office were replicated, which ensures the time capsule feel when entering the room.

The original 1915 office. ( '©Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum’)
The original 1915 office. ( ‘©Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum’)

The office has a style and period charm which Museum visitors will now be able to enjoy at their leisure and copies of historic documents have been re-produced with the intention that these can be handled.John Waxman: Assistant Director, RAF Museum “It’s wonderful to be opening up this room to our visitors and we have no doubt that it will appeal to a wide audience. The room is a replica of the office where Claude Grahame-White developed his plans for British Aviation which in turn impacted the world. I’m sure it’s charm will resonate with those who visit.”

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