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AEROPLANE CONSERVATION Andrew Pearce, Technology Objects Conservator at Endangered Heritage, conserved aircraft at the Australian War Memorial from 1999 to 2009. As people pass through museums, they may briefly look at the aircraft on display, but they rarely pause to ponder the work done to display them. Now well over 70 or 100 years old and far beyond the lifespan their manufacturers foresaw, time has not been kind to the surviving military aircraft from WWI and WWII. Steel fastenings touching linen and cotton on wings will have caused rust holes in the fabric, corroded steel bolts will have split timber. Oils will have ceased protecting against corrosion, having now become acidic and rubber will have lost its elasticity or flexibility. Steel and aluminium in contact with each will have corroded together. Weight alone will have caused wings to sag or droop and tyres to develop flat spots. Light exposure will have caused the plastic of windows and canopies to yellow and craze and bird droppings will have etched holes in metal panels. Most of the nuts and bolts originally used will no longer be available. Even repainting leads to a myriad of ethical decisions. An aircraft may have flown with different squadrons, or had a life post-war. How do we research what colours or markings to give it and when in its service career to represent? Organisations such as the Royal Australian Air Force will go through these issues when preparing a Dassault Mirage, a CAC Winjeel and the nose of a deHavilland Caribou to go on display at the RAAF Heritage Centre in Townsville in late 2019. Conservation is an immensely rewarding labour of love, Large Technology Conservators spend years working to ensure that aircraft being displayed are structurally and chemically stable, properly supported and authentic and appropriate in appearance.

TOP: Dassault Mirage III at RAAF Williamtown. BOTTOM: CAC Winjeel of the RAAF - Operated from 1951 until 1994!!


Event: 13-14th July 2019 10-4.30 Symposium Sat 13th 6-9pm at the Visions Theatre National Museum of Australia


ndangered Skills and Trades show

Heritage trade skills with innovative youth creates new industries. Endangered Heritage is organising an event to highlight the need to re-instate an apprenticeship scheme for heritage trades. All of these trades have been in decline as many of the micro business operators cannot take on staff and the remaining traders (often in their 80’s) cannot keep up with demand. Often pricing for bespoke products are expensive as a consequence, leading to a belief that these skills are dying out or that they are an anachronism. In fact heritage knowledge partnered with innovative youth creates new industries. The preservation of this knowledge and these skills is essential for branding our future cultural identity in a world where mass produced consumer goods are increasingly available. Eventually it is the bespoke, which will be our unique trading signifier. Excellent culturally identifiable products and skills assist tourism and our social capital. This event has Horologists taxidermists, lace makers, book binders decorative plasterers, saddlers, luthiers, reverse glass painters, scientific glass blowers and many other essential trades used for the restoration of work buildings and heritage sites. We are also working to get indigenous industries and sciences recognised as trades for apprenticeship training. “As fine art conservators, we conserve the material objects of our culture, often made by specialist experts. We are noticing that heritage skills are in decline, not because of a lack of demand but because of a lack of trainees. This issue is important for conserving our intangible heritage. “ Victoria Pearce The event is a two day gathering of heritage skills and traders demonstrating their artisan craft, at the Fitters Workshop in Kingston Canberra 13th and 14th of July 2019. Gold coin donation The Fitters workshop is next to the Canberra’s biggest craft market, The Bus Depot Market is running their Fibre Festival which is on the same weekend On the evening of Sat 13th there is a public event at 6-9pm being held with the National Museum of Australia in the Visions Theatre. The evening is a series of talks to the theme. “ How may heritage skills have been used for innovative prototypes or bespoke solutions in our digital world.” Free. This evening will interest educators policy makers and parents looking for unique vocational opportunities for their kids.


Profile for The Last Post Magazine

The Last Post Magazine Anzac Day 2019  

In 2019 TLP editor Greg T Ross visited Japan under the Japan-Australia Grassroots Exchange Programme. To commemorate the visit and the prog...

The Last Post Magazine Anzac Day 2019  

In 2019 TLP editor Greg T Ross visited Japan under the Japan-Australia Grassroots Exchange Programme. To commemorate the visit and the prog...