Toymaker Hornby chief executive buys Hawker Hunter aircraft which once stood outside Airfix factory in Hull as tribute

History has come full circle for an aircraft which once stood outside the Humbrol factory in Hull after it was bought by the chief executive of the company which owns the brand.

Auctioneer Andrew Baitson standing by the aircraft at Fort Paull near Hull Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Lyndon Davies, chief executive of Hornby, bought the aircraft for £14,000 at auction and plans to use it as a tribute to employees who have died in recent times.

The aircraft was once fixed on a pole outside the Humbrol factory on Hedon Road in Hull, which closed in 2006.

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It later moved to the military museum at Fort Paull to the east of Hull until that closed last year.

Hornby owns brands including Hornby model railways, Scalextric, Humbrol and Airfix - which makes an identically-shaped model of the classic British jet aircraft, which some people believe was one of the most beautiful planes ever made.

Mr Davies told The Yorkshire Post: "Over the last year we have lost quite a few people, not just because of Covid, but through various reasons, and it is going to be in memory of them.

"I bought it personally, privately and will donate it to the company - our UK offices are in Margate.

"It's too early to say where it will be on display - we will take it, refurbish it and bring it back - it needs a little bit of work.

"Maybe people will be disappointed it isn't going to stay local, but in a way it is coming home."

The Hawker Hunter XF509, which started out with 54 Squadron in 1957, was sold last September, but the businessman who bought it, Peter Cordwell, died following an incident at his home near Manchester the following month.

It was put back up for sale in an online Gilbert Baitson auction which finished on Saturday.

Another item bought by Mr Cordwell, a British military dining car built in 1967 by Wegmann in Kassel, Germany, made £3,700.