Our Directors

The Team

Select a photo to see more about our volunteer team:




John Kenyon - FAETC, PGDMS, Chartered FCIPD


Director and Museum Trustee

Background Work Experience:
Commencing industry as a commercial apprentice in 1961 his formative career progressed to Board level by 1986 as UK Director of Human Resources and in 1989 Regional Human Resources Director for Europe Middle East Africa with Warner Lambert, a US Pharmaceutical Company now absorbed into Pfizer. During this period he was a legal entity Director of the UK Company and also of 14 overseas affiliates. He worked for the company in a variety of roles for 18 years. [1974-92].

From 1992 to 2013 for 21 years he ran his own business, IPC Consultants as an Organisational Development Consultancy for SME’s and was engaged on delivery of government contracts with Quality South East for Investors in People, Legal Services Commission, Business Link and SFEDI. Also delivered a range of HE programs at IOW College as a course co-ordinator/tutor. Contracted to Right Management, part of the Manpower Group for delivery of business start- up & career transition programs across the South and tri-service leavers for MOD at HMS Nelson.
From 2013 has been active in the third sector as a Charity Trustee and Chair of the Friends of St Mary’s Hospital Shop and Café Ltd, also delivered an Interim contract as Director of Carisbrooke Castle Museum for a 9 month period.

Relevant Aviation Experience
His early period of service was in the Royal Observer Corps and ATC. Commissioned in RAFVR (T} at age 23 he served in 4 Wings across the country. The Airforce taught him to fly at No 631 Gliding School at RAF Sealand. Later qualified as NPPL in 2007 and now flies regularly. He was founder Chair of the Northern Aircraft Preservation Society, the UK’s first amateur preservation group in 1962 in order to to rescue the country’s sole surviving Avro Avian 111A G-EBZM from extinction.

Also founder Chair of the British Aircraft Preservation Council in 1967.Later initiated the reforming of the Britten Norman Aircraft Preservation Society in 2009 and managed the rescuing of the world’s oldest BN2 Islander G-AVCN, from the scrap heap.
Now trying to return the world’s sole surviving airworthy Spartan 3 Seater G-ABYN back home to the Isle of Wight where she was built in 1932, for display in Wight Aviation Museum.



Bill Cooper

Company Treasurer

Director and Museum Trustee



Helen Blake

Head of Public Relations

Director and Museum Trustee






Jon Fishman



Michael Lilley BSc MSc (couns.psy)

Director of Civic Affairs & Fundraising

Director and Museum Trustee

Background Work Experience:
Michael went to school on the Island but left in 1974 to start his working career. He has worked for 40 years either in the public or voluntary sector in a senior role. His early career was in youth and community development specialising in development of cooperative and community enterprises which created employment in deprived unemployment areas of UK. He became a recognised specialist in development of community businesses and worked in Midlands, Middlesbrough, and Hastings in 1980s/90s. Ventures he established won several national awards. In the mid-1990s, he had a slight career change and went to University to train as a criminologist and counseling psychologist.
In 1999 Michael founded a family mental health center in the West Midlands which pioneered a new approach to tackling depression, anxiety and mental health issues created through traumatic experiences such as domestic violence. This became known as My Time in 2002. Michael was Chief Executive of My Time from 2002-17, and led this award winning pioneering psychological practice and mental health service to become a successful community business with a £2M turnover, employing 60 staff and supporting over 2000 service users per annum.

In 2013, Michael successfully merged "My Time" to join 5 other organisations in a new group which became one of the largest mental health charities in UK (Richmond Fellowship – Recovery Focus Group) with a turnover of £50M, employing 1500 and supporting 30,000. In 2013, Richmond Fellowship/My Time established on the Isle of Wight and is now the Island’s leading mental health charity working in partnership with NHS. Michael moved back to the Island in 2013 and now retired from being a CEO.

In 2016, Michael was elected as a Ryde Town Councilor for Green Party and in 2017 was elected as an IW Councilor to represent Ryde East. Michael is a Board member of Isle of Wight Youth Trust and Wight Community Energy. He has established a local publishing company, Papa Owl Publishing and writing/publishing children’s educational books.

Relevant Aviation Experience Michael’s link to aviation is through his late father, Professor Geoffrey Lilley OBE, who died in Ryde in 2015. Geoff Lilley was Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Southampton University from early 1960s to 1980s and a significant contributor to the growth of aviation and space industry in the Solent. Geoff had fallen in love with aircraft at an early age and as a young apprentice was spotted by the CEO of Kodak before the Second World War. He went onto work with Barnes Wallis.

He was a specialist in acoustics and became the UK leading expert on aircraft noise and its reduction. He worked on iconic planes such as Harrier and Concorde. In 1977, he led the team that persuaded New York State to allow Concorde to land at JFK Airport. He had a 4 decade relationship with NASA and was still listed as a Chief Scientist there at age 88. In his later years he became a founder of Owl Technology and the concept of silent flight. He had a life-long passion for man powered flight and at age 60 actually flew the Gossamer Albatross, the most successful of man powered airplanes.

On his death, Michael and his sisters brought his work together as an archive and now working with Wight Aviation Museum and Winchester Science Centre to establish permanent exhibitions of Geoff’s work and achievements.



Rich Curtis


Director and Museum Trustee

Richard's background is in construction design specialising in off-site construction technology. He has been involved in many social and private housing projects over many years built with sustainable timber frame, including developments worth up to £4 million in value.
He has a long standing passion for space technology nurtured from the age of 2, watching Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon and has avidly followed the development of the space technology and exploration in the subsequent decades.
Richard on the Black Arrow replica -
"I created the project to build a full scale replica of the Black Arrow as a way of celebrating the Isle of Wight?s history in building Britain's biggest space rockets during the 1960?s and to give the public a real sense of the scale of these incredible machines and bring their history to life for a new generation".



Tony Smart, MSc, MRAeS, I. Eng, MCQI, CQP.

Director: Technical Advisor.

Background Work Experience:

12 years in RAF, finishing as a Chief Technician, Maintenance Chief on major overhauls of Valiant ‘V’ Bombers.
Experienced CAA Licensed aircraft engineer. Over 40 years’ experience on military and civilian aeroplanes. More recently he has just retired after 16 years as the Head of Quality for a UK aircraft manufacturer. Responsibilities, in addition to quality standards, was obtaining approval for the various CAA requirements including EASA 21 Manufacturing, JAR 145 Maintenance and EASA Design and Flying approvals. Responsible for the ISO 9001:2000 (including AS/EN9100) approval and Defence Standard 05.123 for Design. Approving the companies’ sub-contractors at home and overseas and overseeing training programs related to personnel certification for parts and aircraft.
After retiring, worked for BSI and TUV as independent Lead Auditor to recommend accreditation of specialised aerospace sector schemes.

Relevant Aviation Experience.
• EASA 21 Sub part G (Manufacture) and J (Design), EASA Sub. Part M and 145 (Maintenance) Advice on gaining and maintaining approvals, writing procedures and expositions. Independent technical and process audits.
• AS/EN9100 Aerospace Sector scheme (IRCA Registered Aerospace 2000 Lead Auditor) No 01185028
• Human Factors Training for EASA Part 145.
• Training in procedure writing, implementation, and internal auditing.
• Aircraft surveys, accident assessment, including technical records assessment.
• Assessment and audit of sub-contractors/suppliers.
CAA Licence No. 17411. Authority to release Aircraft ‘Fitness for flight’ after maintenance and
issue of Certificate of Airworthiness for new manufacture.
Master of Science. Quality Management.
Engineering Council, Incorporated Engineer.
Member of Royal Aeronautical Society.
Member of the Chartered Quality Institute.
Chartered Quality Practitioner.

Our Fundraising Campaign

We are raising funds to help set up the museum, if you would like to support us and donate, our bank details are below.

If you are a UK TaxPayer we can also claim Gift Aid on your donation and increase this by 25%, please see the Gift Aid section of our membership form below for details.

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For £3 per month or for a single of payment of £36 per year, you can also become a member supporter, please download the form below to join.

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To donate please click on the link below or use our bank details for additional methods of payment.

Visit our charity page on BT 


Donations using our Bank Details

If you would like to donate and support us you can do so through internet banking or by crediting our account with a cheque at any branch. You can do this anonymously if you prefer, our account details are below:

Bank NatWest
Amount in £
Sort Code: 54-10-34
Account No: 16231031
Reference: Your Name or Anonymous if preferred

Contact Us

If you have any enquiries our contact details are below

  Wight Aviation Museum, Sandown Airport, Scotchells Brook Lane, Isle of Wight, PO36 0JP.
 Email:  wightaviationmuseum@gmail.com

Wight Aviation Museum is a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee.
Company Reg No: 10784045   Charitable Registration No: 1175948