Antique restorer, bespoke woodworker and propeller maker

I have been in business now for 35 years restoring antiques, custom making furniture to order and manufacturing one off woodworking jobs, although more recently I have been concentrating on propeller manufacture, refurbishment and aircraft restoration , trading as Sovereign Restorations from my workshop at my home in Coventry , UK.

In my spare time , taking over 17 years, I have built from scratch from original drawings, in the living room of my house, a full size 1924 Hawker Cygnet aeroplane G-EBJI, powered by a 1937 JAP J99 ,40 hp flat twin aero engine , the aircraft is fully airworthy

She flew in her debut airshow at Old Warden in September 2015 along with the other Hawker Cygnet G-CAMM and the ANEC G-EBJO, She regularly participates in the Shuttleworth flying displays often flying with our Aeronca C3 G-ADRR, with either Rob Millinship , Scott Butler or Mark Sharp flying them.

Our Aeronca C3 G-ADRR which myself with help from my brother Mark have restored to flying condition, was built in 1936, also powered by a JAP J99 engine ( a licence built Aeronca E113C ). Imported from the USA in 1989. Kept in storage until we acquired her in 2013. She flew last year for the first time since 1948 ! Again with Rob doing the test flying .The permit was issued in October 2015, She has now flown in many displays now .


Both aircraft are based at The Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden Aerodrome and can be seen in their museum along with their rare and unique aircraft , vehicles and agricultural machinery.


I have restored many vintage and classic cars and motorbikes
over the years , for myself ,a 1948 MG YA , 1962 Rover 95 and
a 1964 Daimler V8 to name but a few and pictured here is my
award winning 1934 Riley Monaco , you can just see Hawker
Cygnet in my house !


I have manufactured many wooden aeroplane propellers, including 4 blade SSZ Airship propeller for the RAF Museum, 4 bladed props for DH2 s and a 4 blade club propeller for Andy Loyds static Napier Lion, also airworthy propeller for Avro 504K G-EBHB , pictured below left on the right hand side is the mahogany propeller fitted to Shuttleworths Sopwith Camel 

Below is Shuttleworths Sopwith triplane "lozenge " shape propeller and one of the repaired wings damaged in a landing accident

On the left is a new propeller for Shuttleworths 1918 SE5A during construction ,this is an exact copy of the original made from American black walnut , ready for drilling bolt holes and varnishing , June 2018

I have repaired and recovered the wings of Pitts S2 N74DC. A set of Tiger Moth wings D-ETMP belonging to Quax Flieger in Padderborn, Germany, and refurbished the interior of Peter Holloways Miles Falcon G-AEEG and Shuttleworths Desoutter G-AAPZ , Repaired the wicker seat of the English Electric Wren and recently I have repaired a damaged wing from the Chilton DW1 G-CDXU and Pitts S2 G-FOLY

I have recently restored a Salter bros 17 ft fibreglass hull double Thames camping Skiff "Bitter Wind" for another satisfied customer, which entailed replacing a lot of the woodwork, refurbishing what could be salvaged, general repairs and upholstery

I have refurbished many wooden aircraft propellers , recently the Miles falcon G-AEEG needing total strip down , recover and paint , replacement of damaged copper leading edge .

My latest acquisition 1939 Heath Parasol G-AFZE , ( the only surviving British example) complete with Bristol Cherub lll engine , rescued from a Surrey residential garden, in a very poor state, but complete, I intend to restore her back to flying condition .

I also make wall hanging decorative propellers, exact scale replicas with clock or barometer inserts, in various woods , which are for sale on my stall at the Shuttleworth Collections flying displays , some are for sale in the visitors centre at Old Warden Aerodrome, they can also be purchased by mail order , please contact me ( details below ) for more information, stock list and prices .

          Email at                               or telephone 07896161634

Please click on picture for a larger image.

I hope you enjoyed what I have put on here , my website is being constantly updated so please come back,


Colin Essex

Subpages (1): Hawker Cygnet G-EBJI