Wiltshire councillor apologises to Old Sarum

A Labour Wiltshire councillor, Ian McLennan, has made a public apology to the directors of Old Sarum Airfield because of inaccurate statements and quotes on social media.

Councillor McLennan said, “Over the course of last year (2020), I made various comments on Facebook, Twitter, and the Salisbury Journal website in response to concerns raised about the operation of Old Sarum Airfield, and the condition of Hangar 3 in particular. Hangar 3 is a Grade II* Listed property.

“Some of those comments referred to Grenville Hodge and Matthew Hudson in connection with the current condition of Old Sarum Airfield.

“I understand from Mr Hodge and Mr Hudson that my comments have caused them personal offence and distress. I would like to sincerely apologise for any offence or distress caused to them by my comments – it was certainly not my intention to do so.

“I have been informed that both Mr Hodge and Mr Hudson have made a significant personal and financial commitment to the continuation of Old Sarum Airfield over the last 30 years.

Hangar 3 Old Sarum
Hangar 3, one of three WWI listed hangars at Old Sarum

“In addition, I understand that Mr Hudson and his family previously invested a significant amount of money in order to rescue the Optica Aircraft company in 1987, which was operating at Old Sarum Airfield at the time.

“I have also been informed that neither Mr Hudson nor Mr Hodge have received any return of the investments nor any remuneration for their efforts in connection with Optica, Old Sarum Airfield or Hangar 3.”

“I understand that both Mr Hodge and Mr Hudson are keen to restore the condition of Old Sarum Airfield, and Hangar 3 in particular, in order to protect the heritage of the airfield.”

“I welcome the prospect of future co-operation with them and the local community to try and identify ways to restore the property and leave a lasting legacy, for future generations.”

Matthew Hudson said, “Our intentions remain completely focused on protecting the airfield and heritage assets.

“We also look forward to working with our ward councillor and other members of Wiltshire Council to ensure a long term sustainable future is achieved for the Old Sarum airfield.”

Old Sarum Airfield




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