We are a flourishing aviation society that in 2022 celebrated 25 years since formation. Beginning as the Braughing Aviation Society, the more inclusive and appropriate title of the East Hertfordshire Aviation Society was adopted in 2017 to recognise that those who attend come from way beyond the village where it started.
Instrumental at the start in 1997 was the late Len Howett who went on to become life president. A member of the Glider Pilot Regiment in World War 2 and with a deep-rooted interest in all aspects of aviation, Len originated the idea of a village society that provided a meeting point and forum for anyone who shared his interest. That philosophy continues to be the blueprint for the Society’s successful continuation.
To mark the founding by Len and others, the Len Howett Memorial Lecture was begun in the Society's Silver Anniversary year and the plan is to make this a regular event in the Society's calendar. For the 2023 lecture, on 25th September, the guest speaker is one-time British Airways Concorde captain, John Hutchinson (see calendar below).
Over the years, membership of the Society has grown steadily to the point where more than 100 people each month receive email notice of the Society’s forthcoming talks and other activities. During the year a number of visits are made to places of aviation interest, details of which are also advised by email.
Our members, male and female, come from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Those with aviation somewhere in their personal or professional lives include ex-Service personnel, commercial and private pilots, engineers, historians, and journalists. An aviation background, though, is by no means a condition of membership. The common bond is an enthusiasm for the subject, however general.
Meetings, usually on the last Monday of each month, almost invariably feature a guest speaker and are held monthly throughout the year, apart from a break during August and again over Christmas/New Year.
Such is the reputation that the Society enjoys that some of our guest speakers have returned several times – and also become members! Occasionally, our own members present on aspects of aviation on which they are expert.
Our talks and visits schedule through to end 2023 is as
- 28 August - no meeting, summer break.
- 14 September – Visit to British Airways Speedbird Heritage Centre plus talk, London Heathrow Airport .
- 25 September – Len Howett Memorial Lecture The wind beneath my wings by John Hutchinson, former BA Concorde captain.
- 30 October - Operation Husky - The People’s Mosquito by Alan Pickford, chairman of the charity that aims to return Mosquito RL249 to flight.
- 27 November - One hundred years in the RAF by Anthony Inglis, the story of one family’s connections with the Service during more than a century.
- December – no meeting, winter break.
Talks lined up for 2024 include:
- Operation Jericho, marking the 80th anniversary of the Mosquito raid on Amiens Prison from nearby RAF Hunsdon.
- Lysander operations for the SOE during World War 2
- Air power at sea: the Battle of Midway
Society meetings are held at The Axe & Compasses public house, Braughing, starting at 20.00. Many members, though, arrive from 18.30 onwards, for a chat and catch-up over supper and drinks.
We really do welcome new faces, so if you would like to find out more and also add your name to our information distribution list, please email the Society’s secretary here >>>