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The Staff Trip to Concorde

John Starbuck, a Station Supervisor at Grantham from 1984 until 2000, remembers this special trip to the British Airways maintenance base at Heathrow airport.

While I was  at Grantham one of our regular passengers was Lord King who, at the time, was chairman of British Airways (BA). He had his home at Friars Well Estate at Wartnaby, near Melton Mowbray, and he regularly travelled through Grantham station when going for meetings in London.

He was a down-to-earth man who used to love talking about his past and present life.  He also used to bring pheasants in for the staff which had been shot on his land.  I once mentioned that I had been on a Concorde visit with a group of YTS (Youth Training Scheme, a government initiative between 1983 to 1989) staff and he said if I would like a personal visit he would arrange this.  Eventually I took a large group of railway staff with me with, along with members of their families.  We were met at King’s Cross station and a coach took us to Heathrow Airport for a tour of a Concorde and a Boeing jumbo aircraft, followed by a salmon and champagne buffet.  I'm not sure when this was, though it would be no later than 1993 when Lord King stepped down as chairman of BA.

The photograph above shows Grantham staff and their families with Concorde in the main maintenance hangar at Heathrow Airport.
Photograph lent by John Starbuck.

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