CROYDON AIRPORT SOCIETY 1978-2016
The Croydon Airport Society was founded in 1978. The principal founders were Sir Peter Masefield and Doug Cluett. Sir Peter Masefield had a long and successful career in the transport industry serving as Chairman of London Transport and the British Airports Authority. Doug Cluett was the archivist for Sutton Libraries and wrote many successful books on Croydon Airport which are still in print.
The founding principle of the Society was the development of a National Air Transport Museum that tells of Croydon Airport’s significant part in shaping air travel in Britain, Europe and across the globe.
The former terminal building and gate lodge were granted Grade II listed status in1978. Members of the Society staged regular popular walking tours around the old airport. In the early 1990’s the former terminal building was redeveloped as a business centre and renamed Airport House. Included in the development was a micro museum located in the former Air Traffic Control Tower. Designed by Haley Sharpe and winner of a London Tourism Award, the micro museum was named the Croydon Airport Visitor Centre and opened in 2000.
Around 2000, the former Grade II listed Gate Lodge was part leased to the Society to house its extensive archive relating to the history of Croydon Airport, although the archive is currently in an alternative home . Over the past 15 years the archive has grown to over 100,000 documents and 10,000 images, containing audio and video recordings and artefacts.
The Society assisted many researchers from various media organisations such as BBC Television, BBC Radio and National Geographic.
The Croydon Airport Society was a major stakeholder in developing the Croydon Airport Visitor Centre in what is now the Grade II* listed Airport House, Croydon.