Concorde on the Thames

By | Category: Travel news

There is an idea to place the Concorde aircraft, sitting round at Heathrow doing nothing, on a floating plinth on the Thames in London somewhere near the London Eye. The plinth will have two levels with the first floor being given over to a river landing stage and presumably either a museum of some sort or other exhibits and Concorde sitting on the top floor. Obviously the thought behind this is that it will become a tourist attraction.
But will it?
I defer to no-one in my fondness of the plane. Even after 20 years of flying you would still look up and marvel at its beauty as it roared into view. I regret I never flew in it. But can one plane make a tourist attraction where it is has to generate £22 million before the project will make a profit? I don’t doubt that the plane is a draw. But it is small inside and, therefore, space is at a premium. Will people be able to stay very long inside before the next person or group comes through? The visit could be over quite quickly. How many can cram into the cockpit at once? Maybe we would all sit down and receive a talk from former crew as they explained what it was like to fly in her.
The idea of placing a Concorde on the river is novel and could be far sighted. More visitors come to London than elsewhere so it is likely it would soon get on the agenda of the tours. You will attract people to come and see the outside but will you get them to part with money and go inside? If I am sounding overly negative then it is because I think this would be a welcome addition to what visitors can see. But I hope it is well thought out and there is more than just Concorde. People should be able to go away and say to the friends that there was a lot to see and do, it was money well spent and they can’t wait to go back and see it again.

UPDATE
No sooner do you write things than something comes along and changes your attitude to it. The newspaper, Metro, who broke this story, had a follow up today saying that Bernie Ecclestone, the head of Formula One racing thought it could become a huge tourist attraction. Why? Because it appears that the rest of the area will include an exhibition of formula one exhibits, racing cars, British vintage cars and motorcycles. My concern about there not being enough to see has just gone out the window. Now it looks practical. It only goes to show. I should have waited another day to write!

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