Whatever the magic that comes from T9044 we have gained respect from civic, public and military organisations. We keep being mentioned in documents we do not create, people come to us and offer programs and partnerships that are related to what we do – we have an active heritage archive team which is continually provided with new material.
People come to us with newly discovered artefacts, these vary in size from a ‘Mae West’ life jacket to the entire collection of wartime ship recognition images and on to whole aircraft exposed by strong tides and shifting sands of the UK coastline. although we can’t cope with remote aircraft, we do offer encouragement and share our experience with others.
The wreck that was once the proud Sunderland Flying Boat T9044 has been the catalyst that saw the popular ‘Flying Boat’ visitors Centre open in 2010. This in turn led to the Georgian Fleet Surgeons House becoming ‘Fleet to flying Boat’ visitors centre in 2012.
The Sunderland Trust is using this same interest, previous success and enthusiasm to create the Heritage Centre in the grand halls of the Royal Dockyard Garrison Chapel. This magnificent building and its grounds will then house all Pembroke Dock heritage artefacts and with the eventual addition of a modern but complementary glass Exhibition hall and Gallery perhaps providing a home for a T9044 tribute display.
Time is running out for the only surviving Mark 1 Sunderland as both time and tides really do take their toll. There is the possibility that dredging in preparation of larger sea going ferries and ocean going cruise ships using the Waterway will take place over the next 12-18 months. This may disturb the sea bed on which the aeroplane lies and the loss of the aircraft.
T9044 deserves to be the centre and focus of the Garrison Chapel enterprise and really is the magic behind the whole initiative.