The Brooklands Recovery Engineering And Salvage Team (BREAST) go back to the early days of the Museum in 1984, long before it was opened to the public. In those days the site was all about preparing for when the public would be let in. National Rescue who then had depots in the West Country, Midlands and the Home Counties also had their Headquarters at Brooklands and were soon asked to help out with collections. Around the same time a bunch of Brooklands' volunteers lead by Roy Lomax, collected a Viking flying boat from Thorpe Water Park. This was probably the first time an aircraft had been brought into Brooklands by Brooklands' Volunteers as the famous Loch Ness Wellington had been recovered by Professionals.
It was clear that Museum funds would be better spent on other things and so Roy Lomax and later Julian Temple (then Aviation Curator) decide to make greater use of the free services offered by National Rescue. Their MD Andy Lambert was happy to help and soon gathered around him a team of other National Rescue staff who were happy to give of their time. Most notable amongst these were Alan Poet, Dave Petts, Brian Gasson and Ian Stych.
The team recovered various items, repositioned existing exhibits and helped with site clearance. The very first full sized aircraft recovery they undertook was in 1988 and was a Vickers Varsity, which they moved from Sibson Airfield in Cambridgeshire to Brooklands in Weybridge Surrey. They were assisted by the Middlesex based company Savill Freight. As in so many jobs at that time, the dismantling and reassembly was largely undertaken by one unique man, Mick Bates.
Over the years the team has grown and shrunk, some people have helped on one or two jobs, a few have been on most of them. Other Managing Directors have joined Andy in loaning equipment and expertise; these include Boarhunt Group, CeeJay Systems, CMG, Langley Vale, McAllister Recovery, Queens Motors, Warwick Trailers and many others. His successors at National Rescue Geoff and Martin Lambert have also helped greatly over the years. In the picture of the team moving the Brooklands' Vimy from October 2009 and shown above, can be seen equipment loaned by most of those companies.
But the man strength of the team come from its individuals, that include Jeff Sechiari, John Downey, Kai Choi, Keith Adams, Martin Strick, Maurice Jones, Mike Crutch, Nik Read, Paul Godfrey, Paul Swift, Robin Voice, Steve Green, Steve Lewis, Tony Amos and many others.