Spencer Group hails power of Amy Johnson Festival to inspire new generation of engineers

Hull-based Spencer Group has hailed the power of the Amy Johnson Festival to inspire young people to pursue careers in engineering and the sciences.

Spencer is proud to be among the sponsors of the Da Vinci Engineered Exhibition, one of the centrepiece events of the arts and engineering festival.

The festival celebrates the 75th anniversary of the inspirational Hull-born aviator’s tragic death in 1941, and raises awareness of Amy Johnson’s achievements as an aviator, engineer and pioneering woman of her time.

In addition to showcasing and introducing new audiences to great art and cultural events, the festival aims to encourage young people, especially females, to consider engineering and the sciences as career choices.

Spencer is one of the UK’s leading privately-owned multi-disciplinary engineering businesses and is committed to supporting the drive to encourage young people to recognise engineering, technical and scientific careers as exciting and rewarding employment choices.

Spencer Executive Chairman Charlie Spencer OBE said: “The UK as a whole is facing a severe shortage of engineers and technicians and that is certainly reflected in Hull and the wider Humber area. There is also a major issue in that females are hugely under-represented in these fields.

“The situation locally is of particular concern because so much of the significant investment now coming into the area is dependent upon the availability of these vital skills.

“We simply must promote strongly the reality that careers in engineering and the sciences offer young people well-paid, fulfilling employment, with a wide range of career development opportunities.

“We’re delighted to support the Amy Johnson Festival and applaud the creative ways it brings together art and engineering. The festival uses the extraordinary story of a true local heroine to engage with people in fun and fascinating ways and inspire young people, especially girls, to believe that, like Amy, they can achieve great things with engineering skills.”

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson – aviator, engineer and pioneering woman of her time. Photograph courtesy of Hull Daily Mail

The Da Vinci Engineered Exhibition brings together themes of flight and engineering, and features 12 faithful reproductions of Leonardo Da Vinci’s wind and flying machines alongside specially commissioned works by contemporary artists which explore the use of engineering in their conceptualisation, design or production.

Spencer Group has also sponsored one of the dozens of moths featuring in the festival’s flagship event, A Moth for Amy, modelled on Hull’s highly successful “Larkin with Toads” project.

The Spencer moth is being designed by Hampshire based artist, Deven Bhurke, who is applying a Union Flag theme to the 1.5 metre wide moth, reflecting Spencer’s “British Engineering” brand statement. The moth is due to be installed at Spencer’s headquarters office at Humber Quays.

A Moth for Amy is a mass engagement public art initiative which aims to erect artist-decorated moths at sites across Hull and East Yorkshire, at other relevant locations across the UK and along Amy’s flight-path to Australia.

The beautiful moth sculptures, created from a master design by local sculptor, Saffron Waghorn, will be revealed in their new habitats on Friday, July 1 – Amy Johnson’s birthday – and stay in place for several months, forming part of the wonderful moth trail.

A Moth Map will encourage residents and visitors to discover the sculptures and explore the cityscape of Hull and the landscape of East Yorkshire.

Rick Welton, Amy Johnson Festival Director, said: “The support for the festival from local businesses, like Spencer Group, is hugely important in ensuring the success of the Festival in celebrating Amy Johnson’s remarkable life and achievements, as a woman, as an aviator and as an engineer.

“We are delighted to have such support from our business sponsors. It’s their commitment and involvement that enables us to present this wide-ranging festival that will be one of the year’s cultural highlights and will also help to promote the importance of engineering across the Humber region.”

For more information about the Amy Johnson Festival, visit www.amyjohnsonfestival.co.uk

Amy Johnson Festival launch

Spencer Group is among the sponsors of the Da Vinci Engineered Exhibition, part of the Amy Johnson Festival. Photograph courtesy of Amy Johnson Festival/Jerome Whittingham.