Woking’s Hunter comes down

Gently does it as Hunter T7 XL623 is lowered from its perch of 22 years in Woking on 22 July. VIA JULIAN TEMPLE

Woking town centre’s polemounted Hawker Hunter T7, XL623, was lowered 32ft to the ground on 22 July after 22 years’ service welcoming visitors to the Big Apple complex in the Surrey town’s Crown Square.

Woking Borough Council, the owner of XL623 — which was the last T7 built — decided to gift the machine to the Hawker Association (HA) after being advised to remove it for health and safety reasons. The Hunter is now at Dunsfold aerodrome where it will be restored. The association is working with the Brooklands Museum to eventually put it back on public display. Much of this restoration work will be undertaken on dismantled components at Brooklands.

Julian Temple, Brooklands Museum’s estates and heritage manager, explains, “The HA will manage the aeroplane whilst in storage at Dunsfold Park, courtesy of the Rutland Group. Individual components will be taken to Brooklands Museum for restoration in its new purpose-built aviation heritage skills training centre. A number of potential new locations for the aeroplane have been identified by the HA, and the aim is to have XL623 back on public display by the end of 2019.”