Blackburn Beverley: World's last surviving Big Bev is craned out of Fort Paull

The world’s last surviving Blackburn Beverley is being lifted over the walls at Fort Paull in East Yorkshire as it starts its journey to a permanent new home in Cumbria.

Big Bev has been split into pieces and on Thursday a 100 tonne crane started lifting parts of her over the wall at the recently reopened visitor attraction to the east of Hull.

First to go was the back end of the plane where the parachutists used to sit and it will be followed by sections of the wing.

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They’ll then be loaded onto the back of a fleet of trucks next week and taken back to Solway Aviation Museum which is based at Carlisle Airport - where volunteers will celebrate with a sticky bun and a cup of tea.

Historic moment for Blackburn BeverleyXB259Historic moment for Blackburn BeverleyXB259
Historic moment for Blackburn BeverleyXB259

The team have big plans for the colossal plane – their “Angel of the North” – which they say should be visible from a 10-mile radius at her new home.

They stepped in after Beverley XB259 looked in danger of being scrapped, after being partially dismantled three years ago, and they’ve had huge public support from an appeal.

They to carry out restoration work, repaint the aircraft and put her on permanent display – a project that could take around two years.

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A small group – four from the museum and two locals – have achieved a huge amount in just a couple of months.

A small group of six - four from the museum and two locals - have been doing an amazing job splitting up the giant planeA small group of six - four from the museum and two locals - have been doing an amazing job splitting up the giant plane
A small group of six - four from the museum and two locals - have been doing an amazing job splitting up the giant plane

The museum’s chair Dougie Kerr said: “It’s a great day today. I’m amazed how far we’ve got – we didn’t expect this to happen till next week.

"This morning we’ve taken the back end of the plane where the parachutists used to sit, the hatch they jumped out of. That’s been lifted over the wall. Next is the wing.

"We have half a dozen wagons coming next week to take it back to the museum.

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"We think in a couple of years it will be back together. In the meantime it will be left in bits on the floor as it will be easier to work on.”

It's the moment the plane's many supporters have been waiting forIt's the moment the plane's many supporters have been waiting for
It's the moment the plane's many supporters have been waiting for

Big Bev is the first production Beverley to have been built and is the last of the original 49 that were ever made.

She never saw squadron service with the RAF but was kept by Blackburn Aircraft and used for tests and modifications.

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