Manchester Branch

The Manchester Branch was formed in 1930 and during most of its history was based at the A V Roe/BAe Woodford site. Branch events now take place at the University of Salford and the University of Manchester.

Contact Details:

President: Mr Alistair McDicken FRAeS
Chairman: Dr Thurai Rahulan FRAeS
Secretary: Dr Oliviu Sugar-Gabor MRAeS
Lecture Co-ordinator: Mr John Pedley
Contact: Dr Oliviu Sugar-Gabor MRAeS

Branch Profile:

The Manchester Branch was started by the senior management of A V Roe & Co, beginning formally as a Branch of the institute of Aeronautical Engineers in 1919 which, after incorporation with the Royal Aeronautical Society, became an RAeS Branch on 7 February 1930.

JD Siddeley was the President, Roy Chadwick Chairmain, F Paxton Secretary and A Dennison-Scarlett Treasurer with a Committee of eight. The new formation was an immediate success and membership grew to 153 in the first year.

It was the objective of the Branch, in addition to running a lecture programme, to form gliding and model aircraft sections. Within two years the gliding section had build and flown its own Zogling glider. Meanwhile the model section made its own way, doing its own merging with the Lancashire Model Aircraft Society. By 1934 it was 70-Strong and had competition successes, including the All-England Championship.

In 1956 the Branch decided to honour the memory of Roy Chadwick with a Memorial Lecture. This has become the main event of the Branch calendar.

To celebrate the Centenary of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1966 the Branch organised a Garden Party and Flying Display at Woodford attracting a crowd of 40,000. The event created the opening for a series of succeeding displays subsequently organised by the Royal Air Forces Association.

With the demise of civil aircraft manufacture in the Manchester area it became necessary to move the Branch secretariat from industry to academia, where it is currently run from the University of Salford. Great support is given by the University of Manchester and The Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. Lectures are held at all three locations and at Woodford, allowing a geographical spread of venues to encourage good attendance by the largest number of students and general members.

The Manchester Branch is entirely financed by fess from the 140 core Branch members and the five Corporate Friends.

All aero Students at Salford and Manchester are enrolled automatically free as Branch members. These number approx. 450 at Salford and 350 at Manchester. Recent plans to include inviting representatives to our Chadwick Lecture and Dinner, the Annual Northern Aerospace Forum and to arrange visits of their factories.

The AVRO 100 Celebration in 2010 marking the centenary of the founding of A V Roe and Co was attended by over 200 with 100 to dinner. A blue plaque at A V Roe's first premises at Brownsfield Mill, Ancoats, Manchester, was unveiled by Jonathan Stopes-Roe. A lecture under the wings of the Shackleton at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry by Eric Verdon-Roe was followed by the dinner and after dinner speech given by Sir Charles Masefield.