Scroll Down

David Morris AMA

Curator of Aircraft Fleet Air Arm Museum.
Visiting Research Fellow - Bournemouth University
Professional Museum Curator, Conservation and Restoration Engineer, Author.

I have always had an interest and fascination in History. In particular; rural history, natural history, architectural history and the history of mechanical objects and engineering.

Growing up on a smallholding in the heart of rural Somerset I was, from an early age, fortunate enough to have the space to collect numerous odd mechanical bygones. These were mostly Victorian and early 20th century, and the fascination for me even at a young age was to preserve the objects in their original condition.

Paint Archaeology

Original paint, transfers, details etc, were to me important parts of the objects’ history, even if my deeper appreciation of that (at that time) was limited.

Farm Life

Growing up (and for a short time after leaving school) I worked on a local farm, where I was fortunate enough to experience a fascinating historical transition period. The farm was quite traditionally run, with many tools, implements and processes still operating in a way more akin to the late Victorian to post WW2 period. However, modern farming techniques were arriving regularly, and I witnessed first-hand a fascinating process of change. 

I also had the privilege to experience and learn many traditional methods, operating and using a variety of historic agricultural machines and hand tools in daily working use. 

Past Experience

Leaving the farm (which was somewhere I loved dearly) I pursued my interest in engineering taking a position at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, as a junior restoration engineer. Completing an ‘old school’ five year City & Guilds Mechanical Engineering and Fitting & Turning apprenticeship, in time I had the opportunity to become the Museum’s Chief Engineer. Following that I achieved a professional Museums Association curatorial qualification (Conservation Route AMA) and am now the Senior Curator of Aircraft for the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

The focus of the Museum’s collection today is to study and understand fully all aspects of an object’s history before any works are performed; something that in previous decades may not necessarily have been the case. Doing so enables the identification and preservation of many original, and at times unique, remaining details and witness marks that might otherwise be lost to overzealous interactions in the name of ‘restoration’.

In recent years I have worked closely with and lectured for numerous UK museums and organisations, and have been involved with teaching conservation ethics and practices at Bournemouth University and The Edward James Foundation, West Dean, Sussex. Alongside this I have also lectured and have had input into conservation training and teaching at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, The Department of Cultural Properties, Tokyo, The Musee de l’air et de l’espace, Paris and the Institute of Cultural Properties, Trento, Italy, and am currently invited to be on the Collections Advisory Committee at the Tank Museum, Bovington. 
I am available on request for: lectures and talks and further information on a range of subjects that stem from the subject areas described above.

Published Books

Corsair KD431 ‘Revisited’

(second edition) 2019

ISBN: 9780750 990 417

The Fleet Air Arm and Royal Naval Air Service in 100 Objects


ISBN: 978 14456 8902 9

Royal Navy Search and Rescue

A Centenary Celebration (2015)

Please support your local high street independent book seller.

ISBN: 978 1445 634 630

Shepherds' Huts & Living Vans


Please support your local high street independent book seller.

ISBN: 9781445 621 384