Yeovil Branch

In 1926 the Yeovil Branch formed, creating an active hub for members to meet and regular lectures.  Today the Branch is active and welcomes new members!

Contact Details:

President: John Ponsonby, OBE.

Joint Chairmen: Jerry Graham, Alisdair Wood

Secretary: David McCallum

Contact: David McCallum

Email: david.mccallum@agustawestland.com

Tel: 01935 703043

Branch Profile:

In 1926 the membership of the Royal Aeronautical Society was 1,049 and the Society was celebrating its 60th anniversary. On 18th October of that year, the Westland Aircraft Society was formed; two months later becoming the Yeovil Branch on 14th December 1926. One of the main objectives of the fledging Branch was to hold lectures for Ground Engineers to meet the examination syllabus published by the Air Ministry. Seven years later, on 21 March 1934, Col Pritchard, the Secretary of the Society, wrote to Victor Gaunt, the Yeovil founding Hon Secretary: "I really must congratulate you all upon the excellent show you always put up in every way. The Yeovil Branch is the envy of all other Branches and the standard to which they aim." This spirit lives on in Yeovil with a strong local committee and the desire to provide members and aviation enthusiasts with a focal point to develop professional knowledge and interest.

In 1946, Westland decided to specialise in helicopters and over 2,500 have been built in Yeovil, more than 80% of the UK helicopter production. The Branch enjoys strong support from the company, now Agustawestland, reflecting the mutual benefit that is available.

A lot of individual support for the Society comes from Yeovil with voluntary participation at every level; Council, Boards, Branches Committee and many Specialist Groups. The Branch actively supports Society activities in the Yeovil area, such as Cool Aeronautics and school liaison. An active archive of local products is maintained by Branch members, offering support for historical aircraft and authors. The Branch provides the focus for local submissions to Medals and Awards.