Thoughts on the Unveiling
by Artist Steve Harper
As collectors of my works
of art, or as visitors to this, our web site, many of you knew
Dave Leek, either meeting him personally or through reading
articles (some of which are available on this site).
Some of you knew Dave
through either the 1940's Hangar dances held at the Museum,
or through visits to the RAF Museum Cosford, or indeed through
meeting him at exhibitions of my Art work held at the museum.
Sadly David Sidney Leek
(Dave) . Chairman of the Aerospace Museum Society, Cosford,
passed to his rest peacefully at his home on December 25, 2013,
aged 57 years. Dave battled on even in the later stages of his
illness always keen to encourage the young, always with a kind
word, always the gentleman, and ever dedicated to his roll in
aviation. He dedicated much of his life to the preservation
of our aviation heritage for the education of future generations
and for the enjoyment of many.
As an artist it is always
a great honour to be asked to do a portrait, especially so in
this case. The Aerospace Museum Society commissioned this work
of art which I have donated to them and the RAF museum for the
benefit of Dave's family, friends and visitors to the Museum.
It was lovely to welcoming
you all to the Museum for this special unveiling of the Portrait
in Dave's memory which is was unveiled at the RAF Museum Cosford
at 11.45 am on the 16th November 2014 in the Main Visitor Centre.
The unveiling was a happy
occasion remembering the life of a dear friend. It was attended
by his friends, family, and members of the society and museum
together with the many visitors who have over the years enjoyed
a visit to the Museum and enjoyed the aircraft Dave dedicated
so much of his life to, in preserving our aviation heritage.
Below are some
of the guests who attended the unveiling and presentation.
About the Portrait.
In the Last portion of
his life, with the help of the Shuttleworth Collection I helped
to fulfill his dream of flight in a Tiger moth. Dave's Dream
of Flight took place at the Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden,
Bedfordshire England. His special day started when we bundled
Dave into my Classic Ford Granada, which he loved, for the trip
to Shuttleworth. We still managed to keep his surprise a secret.
On arriving he met engineers, pilots, and stood on the wing
of the hurricane being worked on by an engineer.
A trip round the engineering
section of the Shuttleworth Collection,standing by the Spitfire
and all thoughts of his illness seemed to disappear and a big
smile banished the tiredness induced by his illness. The aviation
enthusiast was in his element.
Over Lunch we sprung
the surprise and the engine test Dave thought he might be lucky
enough to see, was to be his dream flight in the Collections
beautiful example of a 1940 DH82a Tiger Moth in Red, white and
silver RAF training colours.
On a Beautiful day of
azure blue sky, Dave took to the sky flying down the crowd line,
performing a loop. On dulcimer wings Dave with a big smile and
a wave from the cockpit fulfilled his dream in the freedom of
his dream flight.
In the portrait, Dave
sits in the Tiger Moth, happy that his dream of flight could
inspire the young.. and perhaps not so young. Back where he
belongs with his friends, with the aircraft he loved and with
the many visitors who will pass him as they go through the visitor
Centre. His smile and warmth greeting them as they start their
journey through the wonderful RAF Museum he was so proud of.
It would be my pleasure to see you on the 16th November for
the Unveiling of the Portrait and what will be a lovely afternoon
of dear friends and treasured memories in the midst of one of
the world's finest collections of aircraft.
My thanks to Dave's family,
the RAF Museum Cosford and to The Shuttleworth Collection.
My thanks to the RAF
Museum for their Kindness, and fabulous hospitality on the day
of the Unveiling, and my thanks also to dear friends of the
Aerospace Museum Society, Cosford.
I would also like to
thank all who attended on the day, for kinds words and thoughts
that made the day so very special to all.
My very warmest wishes,
to you all and blessings of peace and happiness to all who stop
for a while to gaze on the Portrait of Dave and share for a
moment Dave's dream of flight.