By Zac Yates

The Solway Aviation Museum (SAM)’s crowdfunding campaign to save Big Bev, the sole survivor of 49 Blackburn Beverley cargo aircraft built for the UK’s Royal Air Force during the Cold War, is potentially days away from reaching its £60,000 goal to finance the large aircraft’s relocation from its home of fifty years at Fort Paull, near Hull, to the SAM facility at Carlisle Lake District airport.

A photograph of Beverley XB259 in Royal Air Force service. [Photo via Solway Aviation Museum]

As reported by Vintage Aviation News in February, Beverley XB259 has faced an uncertain future for several years but it appears relief for the unique aircraft is finally in sight. SAM chairman Dougie Kerr told VAN that the team has found the outpouring of support for the project to be overwhelming.

“With the total reaching £57.5k — which we think is fantastic — the generosity towards the saving of the Beverley is outstanding,” Kerr said. “With the weather getting warmer it’s time to make the first steps to move the Beverley: we are planning a recce to see what type of tooling will be required which a local company is going to donate to the project.

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SAM director Dougie Kerr says the fundraiser has exceeded expectations and arrangements to prepare the aircraft’s new home are about to begin. [Photo via Solway Aviation Museum]

“We have also had a promise of a lorry and forklift at Fort Paull to move some of the smaller parts. The thing is, even the smaller parts are quite big! Also preparation to where the Beverley is going to be sited [at the museum] will start this week. So please keep donating, we are nearly there.”

[Image via Solway Aviation Museum]

As at April 2 donations and pledges were at £58,144.13. Contributions to the Beverley fundraiser can be made via PayPal and JustGiving. For more information on the Solway Aviation Museum visit their website at and their Facebook page.

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