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By: 14th August 2012 at 13:41 Permalink - Edited 1st January 1970 at 01:00-
Wonderful place, did you ever go in there? Bill Parker who owned it was seen by some as difficult to get on with but I never had any problems, thought he was really nice. Maybe it depended on how he was approached
Three sheds in Benfleet and some in the north stuffed to the rafters with what is called "unobtanium" by some.
Mainly instrument and electrical related items as I recall although the northern sheds may have had airframe parts. Some dated back to around 1914. I do remember a six foot high pile of Mosquito instrument panels and a tea chest full of Spitfire Undercarriage indicators. Also a shelf full of wing mounted generators. Prices were based on airworthy spares, not collector's values so some items were incredibly cheap and some were incredibly dear. Bill did supply the BBMF, and most other organisations that flew older aircraft. One unexpected customer was the RAF. When the Falklands war kicked off they came to him for all the "mickey mouse" (WW2 IFF) timers he had for fitting in the Vulcans, never told him why.
Eventuilly Bill passed away and his widow put the whole operation up for sale. The value she placed on it was far in excess of the real value and there were no takers so she called in a firm to grind it all down and the resulting grit was to be used in motorway construction. The process was well under way when Guy Black came to an arrangement with the widow. No idea what was left, less than half, but he bought the remainder and advertised at least some of under the Aircraft spares and material banner from the Benfleet site.
I can't find the current status of the comapny, it's still listed in directories but this is no guide. Airsam may be the origin of Aerovintage Spares but that's speculation not an assertion.
By: 14th August 2012 at 15:27 Permalink - Edited 1st January 1970 at 01:00-
Thanks for the information. No I never went there, but often wondered what it was like whenever I read the adds.
It sounds like an Aladdin's cave of spare parts.
Just imagine if those were still available today, they'd be worth an absolute fortune.
By: 14th August 2012 at 22:52 Permalink - Edited 1st January 1970 at 01:00-
METHCO was sold and became AirSaam. The two new owners then went separate ways and it became sole owned by one of the former partners. It was relocated to Duxford as part of the Historic Flying Ltd business and remains so. A consolidation of stock held found some of it moving to another outlet which you should find via "Bruce" on this forum. Contact AirSaam via HFL at Duxford, they still hold loads of weird stuff.
By: AlanR - 14th August 2012 at 12:57
There used to be a company just down the road from me called Methodical Engineering.(?) They advertised a lot in the
aviation magazines, going back to the 60's as I recall. I seem to remember they kept all sorts of spares for military aircraft,
and supplied spares to the BBMF, including radio spares.
Anyone know what happened to them ?
(I don't need anything)