Tue, Mar 13, 2012
Model Builder Given The Equivalent Of About $156
Bernard Newman says he had spent about 60 hours building a model of a Bleriot XI monoplane, and had loaned it to the Lydd airport in Kent, UK. The model was on display at hanging above an airport bar with several others.
About two years ago, the models were all taken down during a remodeling. Newman asked for his model back, but was told that they might be put back on display. After six months passed, he says he asked again that the model be returned, and he says he was initially given the runaround, and then following a management change, received a letter asking for proof that he had ever donated the model in the first place.
Newman told the London Express newspaper that the model had a value of about 300 pounds sterling, or about $470. He said the loan had been a "gentleman's agreement" for which he did not request a receipt, adding that he never considered he would need such a document.
The paper's consumer advocate picked up the story, and while the staff at Lydd airport seemed sympathetic, the management was dragging its feet on reimbursing the 80-year-old model maker. Eventually, the airport agreed to reimburse Newman 100 pounds sterling for the model, or about $156. He said while it was far less than it was worth, he considers the award a moral victory of sorts, and one he thought he'd never see. It's still not known if the airport is still in possession of the model, or whether it had been lost, stolen, or damaged during the remodeling. (Photo of Bleriot XI in public domain)
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