British war plane history could be lost forever if a man who’s amassed a ‘museum-ready’ collection of rare V-bomber cockpits can’t find someone to pilot his lifetime’s work to a new destination.
Nigel Towler, 65, has dedicated 40 years of his life to salvaging and restoring the largest array of V-Bomber cockpits in one private collection. The strategic bombers first flew 70 years ago courtesy of the Vickers Valiant in 1951. It entered service in 1955 and was followed by the Avro Vulcan and Handley Page Victor. They all played their part in the Cold War and the Victor and Vulcan found fame during the Falklands War.
Reluctantly Nigel has taken the tough decision to part with his colossal collection, which includes a Victor cockpit that participated in the Falklands War and another which is the only one of its type still in existence. However, if he can’t find a buyer, he may be forced to sell off hundreds of parts individually and scrap the aircraft nose sections – something he dearly hopes will not happen.
Nigel, a retired businessman from London, said: “This is a one-off opportunity and it would be tragic in the extreme if someone does not see the worth in what I have accumulated over the last 40 years. When you sit inside these cockpits you can feel the history.”
The Cockpit Collection is due to be sold on March 9.